Monday, 27 April 2015

Knowle relocation project: Is the site being sold off cheaply? The Knowle site is valued at £7million ... whereas the Alexandria Road site was valued at £9million

Last month, the full Council voted to sell Knowle:

"... the sale proceeds of £7-8m from the Knowle" is expected:

Questions have been raised about these ongoing negotiations to sell off the Knowle site:
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: deciding to sell >>> 'overage' and the dangers of selling Knowle short

This has just been received from a correspondent:

Is the the Knowle being sold off too cheaply?
Was looking at the Alex Report and recall Morrisons had offered a reported £9m for the site.
Compare this with the £7m for the superior Knowle site!

The reference is to the 2013 report published by the Save Our Sidmouth blog:

It is reported that Morrison’s propose to build an out of town (26000 sq m) supermarket and petrol station on the site. They have produced scaled plans for a comprehensive development for the industrial estate with access via Station Road and have made a substantial offer (said to be c£9M!) to the owners
Alexandria Industrial Estate Study July 2013 - Graham Cooper - Save Our Sidmouth 

See also the SOS archive:

The questions are:

Why has only £7million been offered for the Knowle site?
Mystery Knowle bidder revealed - Election - Sidmouth Herald

What is so attractive about the preferred bidder?

Brilliant exposé of retirement leasehold on Channel Four Dispatches

DispatchesUndercoverRetirementHomeTonight’s Dispatches programme (September 24 2012) on retirement leasehold was a brilliant example of television journalism that was extremely damaging to both McCarthy and Stone, and to Peverel.
It is excellent that Peverel’s disgraceful treatment of the pensioners at Strand Court, Rye, has been given a wider airing (search Strand Court on this site).
But best of all was the expose of McCarthy and Stone, whose seemingly motherly sales force (“mother value” is the dubious term M&S uses) were revealed to be partial and thoroughly unreliable.
Any new buyers would have been appalled at the way the sales team coaxes new buyers into a disadvantageous part exchange sales process of their existing home.
Marion Bowley, in Weston super Mare, was offered £140,000 for her pleasant family house. But she sold it herself for £50,000 more after only two weeks on the market.
Then the Dispatches sent in an actress posing as the 79-yeat-old widow Mrs Grimsdale, who was pretending to sell a four-bedroom terraced house in Worthing to buy a one-bedroom flat at Cherrett Court, Bournemouth.
She was told by a sales woman that part exchange was a”god-send”, and assured that she would not get less than the market value. McCarthy and Stone use a third party to buy your house and then – seemingly generously – top the figure up, and discount the flat you are buying by a small amount.

Motherly McCarthy and Stone sales team were sharks

Mrs Grimsdale discovered that she would be £65,000 better off selling her own house and buying a McCarthy and Stone flat for cash – the discount for a cash purchase being much better than the supposed discount for a part-exchange. And Mrs Grimsdale was told she had to make a decision in four days to ‘benefit’ from part-exchange.
As Baroness Gardner said, you needed to be a “mathematician” to understand it. “they are doing their very best to get the flats off their books as quickly as possible,” said solicitor Rachel Stafford.
The programme did not make the additional point that retirement are the worst performing residential asset in the entire property market. Carlex’s advice is: do not buy retirement leasehold at all. These are shark infested waters and best avoided. If you have to live in one, then rent instead. It means if the developers or property managers try to cheat you, you can walk away.
McCarthy and Stone said: “Part exchange is only one of a number of options that we make available to our customers to facilitate their move. We take care to explain each option so customers can make an informal decision on what is right for them.”
McCarthy and Stone has profited the most from the retirement leasehold racket and yet has curiously not been the focal point of most of the opprobrium. This is in spite of the hard sell, the dismal capital values and they fact that McCarthy and Stone draws up its disadvantageous and exploitative leases.
Peverel is more widely disliked, and it is excellent that the issues surrounding Strand Court, in Rye, were given a wider airing. Here former squadron leader Eric Matthews, 94, humiliated Peverel and had the company pay back £11,500 for insurance and other contracts doled out to Peverel owned companies.
Peverel said in a statement that it “accepted the LVT decision”, which is very gracious of it.
Norman Greed, 82, showed that pensioners can organise a successful right to manage and slash the burden of their service charges. All retirement leasehold blocks should do the same.
Many congratulations to all who participated in the programme, and to the programme makers.
Brilliant Dispatches expose of retirement leasehold - Carlex

The current CEO of Pegasus was the CEO of McCarthy and Stone at the time:PegasusLife shakes up over 55s property market
February news archive - Carlex

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