Fenland council to flog assets at auction to raise funds

Fenland District Council is hoping to raise more than £450,000 by preparing to sell a set of council-owned land and property assets at auction.

Friday, 26th July 2019, 9:00 am
The items will be sold at auction

Former amenity sites and small plots of land suitable for future residential development are among the 15 surplus assets which the council says are no longer required for its service delivery.

Moreover, selling the assets will mean money saved from having to maintain them while also providing land for potential new homes.

“Put simply, it is much better to ease the burden on taxpayers rather than maintain odd bits of land and property that the council does not use,” said council leader and portfolio holder for finance, Cllr Chris Boden. “It’s common sense.”

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The council’s Cabinet recently agreed to sell the sites at auction in two phases. The first phase is likely to go under the hammer in autumn this year, followed by the remaining assets in the winter to allow preparatory works to take place.

The first set of assets to go to auction will be a:

. Plot of land in Tithe Road, Chatteris, suitable in principle for future development of a single residential dwelling

. Small garage site in Gaul Road, March

. Former garage site in Smiths Chase, March, suitable for garage/parking/amenity use

. Garage in New Road, Chatteris

. Former sewage treatment works in Front Row, Murrow, suitable for garage/parking/amenity use

. First floor property in Nene Quay, Wisbech

Cllr Boden added: “The council faces stark choices when it comes to protecting the services our residents rely on and managing large cuts to the funding we receive from government. We have already saved millions of pounds in efficiencies over recent years, so we must look at more innovative and commercial approaches in order to keep meeting this challenge.

“These surplus assets are no longer required to deliver the council’s core services and functions and, in many instances, could be much better utilised. It will also generate much welcomed additional income to support our aspirations for residents, mitigate our budget constraints and fund our future capital programme.

“I’m confident selling by auction will achieve the maximum value possible for the district and our taxpayers.”

Cllr Ian Benney, the council’s portfolio holder responsible for strategic assets and management, added: “Over recent months the council has been proactive in identifying various property assets which are surplus to the council’s requirements.

“The council’s Asset Management Plan has been followed and consideration has been given to the most appropriate way of marketing and disposing of these assets. Due to their lower value, sale by auction is seen as the most cost effective method of disposal and the best opportunity to realise a capital receipt before the end of the financial year.”

Further details will be released when the auction catalogue is published.