A DEVELOPER that wanted to set up a string of businesses on the Isle of Wight — including a luxury beach club — has been placed into administration.

The Insolvency and Companies Court heard that Carlauren Group investors put £76m into projects across the UK and £50m was unaccounted for.

The BBC reported that Carlauren's chief executive Sean Murray has been accused of misappropriating company funds, which he denies.

A barrister representing some of the investors alleged significant sums had been transferred into Mr Murray's personal account.

Mr Murray, who represented himself at the hearing in London, previously told the court there were no missing millions and although money had been transferred to his personal account, it was being held in trust for the company.

Carlauren bought 25 properties across the UK, including the Ocean Hotel and King's House, both of which are in prominent positions along Sandown Esplanade but have been left in disrepair.

It also bought and developed the Auckland House Hotel in Shanklin, which is currently open and trading as part of the Heritage Hotel group, which Mr Murray resigned from on December 2.

Plans for the luxury beach club fell through earlier this year, as reported by the County Press.

Carlauren Care has also been placed into administration.

Mr Murray is listed by Companies House as an active director for Carlauren Care, Carlauren Property Holdings, Carlauren Resorts, Carlauren Resort 24, Carlauren Resort 23, Carlauren Resort 22, Carlauren Resort 21, Coppice Hotel (Torquay) and Todaysolar.

He is listed as having recently resigned from at least 12 further companies.

After Judge Sebastian Prentis granted the application to appoint administrators for Carlauren Group, Mr Murray said: "I am afraid I lost control. I hope they act in the best interest of everyone."

Cllr Ian Ward, Isle of Wight Council ward member for Sandown South, said: "The council’s planning enforcement officer has confirmed to me that the council has taken action to contact the administrators to establish the situation.

"Sandown’s regeneration is visibly moving forward but this issue is a step backwards.

"The Ocean Hotel occupies a prime site on Sandown seafront. The hotel’s present condition is blighting the area, affecting our tourism and High Street trade so it is vital this matter is resolved as soon as possible."

Cllr Debbie Andre, Isle of Wight Council ward member for Sandown North, said: “The Ocean Hotel occupies a prime seafront site and has been an iconic feature of Sandown for more than a century.

"It’s heartbreaking to see it desecrated and there’s a lot of anger among the Sandown community at what has happened.

"However, this does now present a great opportunity for the site to be restored to its former glory with new investment and I will continue to promote our town and all its potential for the future.”

"Sandown has a strong community who work hard to make the town a wonderful place to live, work and visit.

"Investment is coming with the building of the Premier Inn, the redevelopment of the former Wight City site, and the transformation of Sandham Gardens."