£2.7 million property portfolio sold for £3 by a council

£2.7 million property portfolio sold for £3 by a council

15:22 PM, 18th July 2011, About 13 years ago 4

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money dropped in Piggy bank,

£3 portfolio sale called into question

The sale of a £2.7 million property portfolio for just £3 by a council to a property development company is under investigation.

Blackpool Council leader Simon Blackburn has pledged to go public with the results of an independent scrutiny of the deal.

The council put the portfolio together by buying up failing hotels and bed-and-breakfasts in the seaside town with plans to refurbish them as social housing.

The plan fell through when the costs of renovating each property were put at an average £130,000 which was money the council does not have.

Councillors and residents have spoken out against the deal as one of the properties belonged to former Conservative councillors Ian and Susan Fowler.

“Buying and selling these properties for a £1 has been controversial,” said Mr Blackburn.

“Recognising the public interest, I have requested the chief executive to commission an independent audit in to the criteria for selecting the properties, the price paid and how that related to the condition and price of the buildings when they were sold.”

Susan Fowler denies any wrongdoing by her or her husband.

“Despite the questions, we have no reason to reproach ourselves. We merely sold property in an area that is going through an uplift,” she said.

Blackpool Council is believed to have funded the property purchases of two guest houses and three flats with taxpayer cash from the Homes and Communities Agency.

The property buyer, Great Places, is an active urban renewal and social housing provider in the north of England.

Besides the Crystal Road purchase from the Fowlers, the council investigation also encompasses buying the Saville Hotel, Tyldesley Road for £200,000 and the £850,000 purchase of three apartments on Central Drive.

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15:41 PM, 21st July 2011, About 13 years ago

The properties should at least have been sold to the property developer for cost .. and who approved the purchase of these properties for the said amounts .. who was the valuer????

Michael Holmes

15:50 PM, 23rd July 2011, About 13 years ago

No wonder Council taxes have gone through the roof. You can't expect the State to run a fish a chip & shop these days,let alone a property portfolio.

rav singh

20:33 PM, 23rd July 2011, About 13 years ago

simple to resolve, all you had to do was put these in auctions at reserve of 5k each stipulating they were council stock and each and every one would have sold above the reserve. Again the reason why this island we live on is in such a mess

1:42 AM, 24th July 2011, About 13 years ago

3 apartments for 850K in Blackpool - daylight robbery. You can get 2bed apartments for under 100K each fully furnished AND NEW. So 3 apartments should've cost under 300K and they don't need anything spent on them, the tenants could've just moved in. Please tell me they bought 3 dilapidated apartment blocks for 850K. But then why did they sell them for 3 quid?

You know, I thought politicians in the 3rd world are crooks. But these people enshrine theft into law so that they can save their bankrupt friends and give their other friends lots of property for virtually nothing. Unless the seller and eventual buyer are one and the same. In which case, this is money laundering. Some people have enshrined wrong doing into law.

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