Proposed care home sale called into question after claims Bournemouth Council may be ‘selling too cheaply’

Proposed care home sale called into question after claims Bournemouth Council may be ‘selling too cheaply’

QUERIES: Former care home Leybourne House is set to be sold to BCHA for just £360,000

CONCERNED: Cllr Sue Levell

First published in News by

THE proposed sale of a former care home has been called into question, amid claims Bournemouth Council may be selling the site too cheaply.

Leybourne House, a 40-bed property which sits in the middle of a 4,000 square metre plot in Western Avenue, Northbourne, is set to be sold to BCHA for £360,000.

The council claims this is “full market value” and BCHA hopes to build 26 two-bedroom flats on the site.

But ward councillor Sue Levell is concerned the land has been undervalued.

She said she had no objection to plans for affordable housing but wanted to ensure the land was being sold at the right price.

A three-bedroom bungalow in Western Avenue is currently on the market for £339,950 and a semi-detached property in East Howe Lane, immediately behind Leybourne House, sold for £310,000 in 2006.

“The council has a responsibility to all residents of the town to obtain the best consideration on the disposal of assets,” she said.

“As the land has never been put on the open market or had an independent valuation I’m sure other development companies would offer a much better return for such a large site.”

Developer and landlord Steve Wells, of the DWP Housing Partnership, also felt the land had been under-valued.

“BCHA have achieved a great deal,” he said. “If they get 24 flats at £15,000 a plot that’s extremely cheap.

“If we were putting in a bid to purchase it, it would be around the £30,000 to £35,000 mark, depending on what our planners said.

“I would have willingly paid more for it, as I suspect would many other developers.”

The sell-off will be scrutinised at a special council meeting at the town hall at 5.30pm next Tuesday.

Tanya Coulter, service director, Legal and Democratic, said questions about the market value of Leybourne House would be answered at next week’s meeting and it was inappropriate to comment further in advance of the meeting.

Comments (6)

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1:36pm Fri 14 Feb 14

BmthNewshound says...

Surely the Council has a duty to ensure that they get the best price when selling off assets. I'm sure that Tanya Coulter will twist the facts to support the council decision.
.
The positive is that the property is being sold to a local charity to provide affordable housing rather than to a private developer looking to maximise profits.
Surely the Council has a duty to ensure that they get the best price when selling off assets. I'm sure that Tanya Coulter will twist the facts to support the council decision. . The positive is that the property is being sold to a local charity to provide affordable housing rather than to a private developer looking to maximise profits. BmthNewshound
  • Score: 1

2:08pm Fri 14 Feb 14

kalebmoledirt says...

Cue the back hander debate
Cue the back hander debate kalebmoledirt
  • Score: 0

4:31pm Fri 14 Feb 14

jinglebell says...

BmthNewshound wrote:
Surely the Council has a duty to ensure that they get the best price when selling off assets. I'm sure that Tanya Coulter will twist the facts to support the council decision.
.
The positive is that the property is being sold to a local charity to provide affordable housing rather than to a private developer looking to maximise profits.
The Council wax lyrical about their passion to provide more houses and affordable homes for rent. They have 2 better options they should be employing here.
The Council could use their own land to build here themselves. It is, after all, the high cost of buying land that makes building homes expensive. Additionally, the Council have the funds to build, so since they have committed in their various documents to building, why are they not doing so in a situation where the land is free?
Their other alternative is to transfer the land to their charity's Community Land Trust - B'mth 2026 Trust - who are also supposed to be committed to providing homes.
Even if they decided to sell the land, they should be doing so via an open tendering process, after seeking several independent valuations.
B'mth Churches Housing Assoc. (BCHA) rents out housing to those who have encountered various difficulties in life e.g. drug addiction etc., I'm not sure its a good idea in order to retain recovery for so many people already struggling with difficulties to all be housed together.
None of this stacks up as in the interests of residents.
[quote][p][bold]BmthNewshound[/bold] wrote: Surely the Council has a duty to ensure that they get the best price when selling off assets. I'm sure that Tanya Coulter will twist the facts to support the council decision. . The positive is that the property is being sold to a local charity to provide affordable housing rather than to a private developer looking to maximise profits.[/p][/quote]The Council wax lyrical about their passion to provide more houses and affordable homes for rent. They have 2 better options they should be employing here. The Council could use their own land to build here themselves. It is, after all, the high cost of buying land that makes building homes expensive. Additionally, the Council have the funds to build, so since they have committed in their various documents to building, why are they not doing so in a situation where the land is free? Their other alternative is to transfer the land to their charity's Community Land Trust - B'mth 2026 Trust - who are also supposed to be committed to providing homes. Even if they decided to sell the land, they should be doing so via an open tendering process, after seeking several independent valuations. B'mth Churches Housing Assoc. (BCHA) rents out housing to those who have encountered various difficulties in life e.g. drug addiction etc., I'm not sure its a good idea in order to retain recovery for so many people already struggling with difficulties to all be housed together. None of this stacks up as in the interests of residents. jinglebell
  • Score: 3

5:27pm Fri 14 Feb 14

Townee says...

Why are this council not putting this land on the open market, this would give the council tax payers the best return on OUR MONEY.
Yet again this council decides to do things the wrong way and to the public it looks underhand with possible claims of backhanders or brown envelopes.
Why are this council not putting this land on the open market, this would give the council tax payers the best return on OUR MONEY. Yet again this council decides to do things the wrong way and to the public it looks underhand with possible claims of backhanders or brown envelopes. Townee
  • Score: 1

3:49pm Sat 15 Feb 14

a struth says...

This really is true partnership working between the Council, the Government and BCHA.Why is the Council not explaining their logic for this sale?
It's actually a saving for them as BCHA will be spending £2m or £3m on redeveloping the site whilst the Council will have rights to nominate eligible applicants to BCHA.
A good deal for the community I think.
This really is true partnership working between the Council, the Government and BCHA.Why is the Council not explaining their logic for this sale? It's actually a saving for them as BCHA will be spending £2m or £3m on redeveloping the site whilst the Council will have rights to nominate eligible applicants to BCHA. A good deal for the community I think. a struth
  • Score: 0

8:26pm Sat 15 Feb 14

pete woodley says...

It certainly looks like it is going too cheap wonder why and who's decision.Steve Wells has a better idea of what it should fetch.
It certainly looks like it is going too cheap wonder why and who's decision.Steve Wells has a better idea of what it should fetch. pete woodley
  • Score: 0

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