I have been writing about/ covering the activities of Mr Cleeve since 1996. Over the years he has sold a succession of dead duck investments starting with barrels of whisky, followed by Champagne for the great millennium party and then it was onto plots of agricultural land that would magically be transformed into goldmines once they were given planning permission. Cleeve’s Champagne offer was partnered by the most hopeless of all drinks investments ever – pipes of ruby Port (the basic sort) – that he sold through his company Forrester & Lamego Ltd until it was closed in the public interest and Cleeve was banned from being a director from 2000 to 2008.
I still have a copy of promotional video put together by Cleeve and his associates for his land-banking venture – European Land Sales. Provided you were not one of the unfortunates that were persuaded to pay over the odds for plots of land that are all too likely to remain worthless, the video is hilarious. My favourite section is Cleeve talking about what happens if ELS doesn’t get planning permission. “This is a situation where you have to look at our track record,” he explains. “Our track record shows that we do get planning in most of our cases. And, also if we have done our due diligence properly it is something that just does not occur.”
My response to PSB (14th March 2011):
 The 1997 Act has not rendered such conduct unlawful. In general, press criticism, even if robust, does not constitute unreasonable conduct and does not fall within the natural meaning of harassment. A pleading, which does no more than allege that the defendant has published a series of articles that have reasonably caused distress to an individual, will be susceptible to a strike-out on the ground that it discloses no arguable case of harassment.
 It is common ground between the parties to this appeal, and properly so, that before press publications are capable of constituting harassment, they must be attended by some exceptional circumstance which justifies sanctions and the restriction on the freedom of expression that they involve. It is also common ground that such circumstances will be rare.’
Update: 26th July 2013
Over two years have past since I replied to Stephen Cleeve's solicitors. To date I have received no response from them or their client either to my letter or my questions about Stephen Cleeve's land banking activities above.