The company behind the Surbiton filter beds housing scheme has been hit with a legal claim disputing its use of a “floating homes” patent.

A claim against Hydro Properties and managing director Philip Wallis has been issued by NGM Sustainable Developments, seeking an injunction preventing Hydro or its affiliates from using its patent for "floating homes".

NGM also wants several agreements with Hydro rescinded, including an irrevocable licence of the patent for floating and can-float homes.

If the claim is successful, it would be another blow to Hydro's plans – the company is already appealing a decision by Kingston Council in January to turn down the development.

Des Collins of Collins Solicitors, representing NGM, said: “NGM was wrongfully deprived of the patent in 2010 and of the opportunity to share in the development of the land.

“We anticipate that in due course both the patent and the land will be returned to their rightful owners so that the land can be developed in the innovative way that NGM had planned, some years ago.”

A statement on behalf of Hydro Properties and its director Philip Wallis, and fellow respondents Lizzano Limited, Cascina Limited and Kevin Reardon, said: "Some of us have been served paperwork by NGM, which principally concerns our lawful purchase from the receiver of the patent for floating technology.

“We cannot see grounds upon which this claim can have any merit whatsoever.

"It is a superficial claim brought more than three years after alleged events, by a company which has not even filed accounts for the past three years.

"We are not unduly concerned by it. We will put the matter into the hands of our lawyers and we will not be commenting further upon it."