Mobile tycoon plunders Potteries greenbelt

Phones4U boss begs staff to back development plans...

Phones4U boss begs staff to back development plans...

The millionaire boss of UK mobile phone outfit Phones4U has been exposed for trying to solicit support among his staff for a controversial housing development which he hopes to build on greenbelt land. John Caudwell owns the protected land outside Stoke and hopes to build 80 luxury homes on the site overlooking the River Trent. However, aware that planning permission may be hard to come by, Caudwell has reportedly enlisted the help of his staff to try and convince local councillors that there is widespread support for the scheme. According to a report in the Guardian the founder of Phones4U and Vodafone airtime reseller Single Point emailed a form to all staff asking them to fill it in, outlining their 'support' for the scheme, and return it to his PA. Critics suggest the fact Caudwell's PA would know exactly which employees had shown their support for the scheme is tantamount to bullying. One Phones4U manager quoted in the Guardian called such coercion "an absolute outrage" and expressed concern over the fact that Caudwell's plans would spell the end for a "beautiful piece of greenbelt land".