TOBIAS Ellwood has hit out at the council for “throwing away £4m” surrounding the sale of Wessex Fields. 

The MP for Bournemouth East accused BCP Council of “rushing” through the sale of the field to University Hospitals Dorset. 

Leaked documents to the Echo show BCP Council is expected to be sold for £2.163m.

An independent red book valuation of the land conducted by Savills said Wessex Fields has a storage land value under an employment use class of £6.104m - deemed to be the best value of the land with no infrastructure on it.

This is based on the assumption that there is full road infrastructure in place.

In the sale, BCP Council agreed to deduct £3.941m from the purchase price as its contribution to the spine road to connect to the link road currently being constructed.

Speaking in Parliament, Mr Ellwood said: “Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council is rushing through the sale of that nine acres of real estate for £4 million less than its independent evaluation, claiming it is storage rather than employment land.  

“This is the same council that is cutting our famous annual air festival and selling off car parks, public paddling pools and plant nurseries, all because—it claims—there is no money, yet here it is throwing away £4 million of local taxpayers’ money.  

“I have written to the Secretary of State for Levelling Up and to the council’s scrutiny committee calling for that decision to be investigated, but Bournemouth deserves better, so can we please have a debate on poor council decision making?"

Bournemouth Echo: The Dorset MedTech Science Park is planned for Bournemouth's Wessex Fields

Leader of the House of Commons Penny Mordaunt said she is “extremely sorry to hear about those decisions” made by BCP Council, adding she hopes there will be “some common sense”. 

She said: “I am sure many members of the house who have visited the air show previously and are very fond of Bournemouth as a consequence will also be disappointed to hear about the choices his council is making.  

“He has done the right thing in asking the Secretary of State and the council’s scrutiny committee to look at this issue; I will also make sure that the Secretary of State understands its urgency, and I hope we can get some common sense.” 

Cllr Vikki Slade, leader of BCP Council said: “We are extremely disappointed to hear that Tobias Ellwood MP continues to act on erroneous information regarding the valuation of Wessex Fields, especially since the Chief Executive of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council personally wrote to him last week setting out the facts of this sale.

“We have been very clear that £6.014m is the value of the land with a full road infrastructure in place.

“There is no road infrastructure in place, so the official RICS Red Book valuation of the land is £2.163m.”