BCP Council’s £17million offer to buy Barclays House was an “indicative figure only”, a Freedom of Information request has revealed.

BCP Council say the offer was made prior to undertaking due diligence and at this time they do not hold a development appraisal.

However, as part of the FOI submitted by a local resident earlier this month, any decision to purchase the property will be subject to 'rigorous' due diligence.

Council leader Drew Mellor has admitted the unconfirmed figure of £17m “was calculated on the limited information available at the time.” 

Read more: BCP Council is looking to buy Barclays House in Poole

Last month it was revealed by the Daily Echo that BCP Council had been given an "exclusivity period" by Barclays to look into buying Barclays House in Poole.

The decision was met with fury by opposition councillors, who were not informed about the council's decision.

Independent councillor Stephen Bartlett said: “There has been no debate whatsoever amongst the council as to whether we should proceed with this or not.

“At the moment, there seems to be somebody exploring the option to buy it, but I have no idea why they would want to buy it or what their intentions would be. 

“We already know Future Places has nothing to do with it. 

Read more: BCP town hall refurb to continue despite Barclays House bid

Read more: Councillors react to BCP leadership after Barclays House bid

“It’s unbelievable that we don’t know the intentions for the building. Why is the offer so much higher than the next offer? It smacks of secrecy and incompetence.  

“I’m really annoyed that this story continues without anybody explaining to the council what is going on. 

“If the council are embarrassed, it’s entirely of their own making because they’re choosing not to explain themselves.” 

Read more: How much BCP Council bid for Poole's Barclays building

Bournemouth Echo: BCP Council Leader Drew MellorBCP Council Leader Drew Mellor

Council leader Drew Mellor said: “An indictive figure (and not a binding bid) was presented as part of the discussion about securing an exploratory exclusivity period and access to the building, data room and documents that would allow the value of a formal bid to be calculated.  

“The non-binding, indicative amount was calculated on the limited information available at the time, with particular interest in the 1,100-space car park that is part of the site.  

“That is why we are now undertaking extensive due diligence to and inform any binding bid.

“The decision to make a binding bid will be taken by full council, which will be based on formal, independent valuations and independent reports on inspections of the condition of the buildings.  

“We would also respectfully point out that assertions that our indicative figure was higher than other interested parties is unsupported speculation.”