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My Local Council Goes Into Property Development

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A thread on here a few weeks ago highlighted the council which set up as local Estate Agent.

My council has gone one better and become a property developer.

It is currently developing a site next to the Asda . . . actually a corner of the Asda car park . . . which will offer 'homes and facilities' . . i.e a small parade of shops.

I can see some advantages. Councillors and property developers are notorious for colluding on bent schemes, so this obviates the need for councillors to be involved in greasy backhanders for wangling planning permissions.

Another site being developed is a local farmer's field which is zoned for 'affordable housing'. Everyone locally has a 'not in my back yard' sticker in the window. But it was only recently we all learned it was the council actually developing the site.

I'm not actually enthralled that council taxes are being used to fund property speculation. And the row of shops seems a horse laugh, given how the council has been instrumental in closing down the high street, just a mile away. I fear parking fines and yellow lines will soon arrive at this quiet rural corner. (Though no buses or services.)

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A thread on here a few weeks ago highlighted the council which set up as local Estate Agent.

My council has gone one better and become a property developer.

It is currently developing a site next to the Asda . . . actually a corner of the Asda car park . . . which will offer 'homes and facilities' . . i.e a small parade of shops.

I can see some advantages. Councillors and property developers are notorious for colluding on bent schemes, so this obviates the need for councillors to be involved in greasy backhanders for wangling planning permissions.

Another site being developed is a local farmer's field which is zoned for 'affordable housing'. Everyone locally has a 'not in my back yard' sticker in the window. But it was only recently we all learned it was the council actually developing the site.

I'm not actually enthralled that council taxes are being used to fund property speculation. And the row of shops seems a horse laugh, given how the council has been instrumental in closing down the high street, just a mile away. I fear parking fines and yellow lines will soon arrive at this quiet rural corner. (Though no buses or services.)

If they build some decent houses, it will free up some homes of ex-councillors onto the market.

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If they build some decent houses, it will free up some homes of ex-councillors onto the market.

If they build some decent houses expect them to be ocuppied by employees of the local council all paying bugger all in rent.

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But you have said previouslywe need more affordable housing so how else can a house be made affordable within the rules we have to work to?

I put 'affordable housing' in parentheses. Of course, as a quasi private enterprise scheme, it won't be affordable. Or any more affordable than council taxes, council business rates, parking fines or what have you.

This isn't social housing, or housing built at cost.

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Personally I think there is too much of a conflict of interest. If a council is developing property then presumably they'll be in competition with local property developers, except they have a huge advantage in being able to give themselves planning permission and deny their competition planning permission. I know the planning committee are meant to be impartial and serve the interests of the community but I'm not sure how many people actually believe that.

I'm sure it could be argued that no local property developers are interested so the council has to step in to get things moving but it looks odd.

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Dont mind them building houses (ie adding infrastructure, otherwise known as wealth) so long as all returns go to the council and not individuals, its the bidding up current prices without adding supply that bothers me.

Ie liebours incessant calls for 'more mortgage lending'

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A thread on here a few weeks ago highlighted the council which set up as local Estate Agent.

My council has gone one better and become a property developer.

It is currently developing a site next to the Asda . . . actually a corner of the Asda car park . . . which will offer 'homes and facilities' . . i.e a small parade of shops.

...you need to see the council minutes approving such a venture and try to construct a best endeavours VI link map to decide if it is in the public interest or 'otherwise' ..... :rolleyes:

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...you need to see the council minutes approving such a venture and try to construct a best endeavours VI link map to decide if it is in the public interest or 'otherwise' ..... :rolleyes:

Good thinking. I will dig.

Both sites are such small developments, they aren't going to have any impact on affordability or pressure on housing. (If there is any locally.)

I'm guessing that this (like the Council Estate Agency in the other thread) is a reaction to the Government telling councils that their grants are cut and they have to go forage for money. But this is a switch in the intention of council taxes.

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Dont mind them building houses (ie adding infrastructure, otherwise known as wealth) so long as all returns go to the council and not individuals, its the bidding up current prices without adding supply that bothers me.

Exactly. As long as this is not a case of socialised costs and privatised gains, then this is to be welcomed wholeheartedly. Far preferable to the pernicious 'help for FTBs' on offer elsewhere.

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You've said it yourself. Council tax (the worst tax ever, complete sunk cost) is being used by your council to get into speculation on property. I would be outraged. Verdict: scandal. (Unless this is akin to building council houses, which it doesn't sound like it is)

Edited by guitarman001

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A thread on here a few weeks ago highlighted the council which set up as local Estate Agent.

My council has gone one better and become a property developer.

Councils should concentrate on street lights, local road repairs, social housing and bin collections etc.

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Exactly. As long as this is not a case of socialised costs and privatised gains, then this is to be welcomed wholeheartedly. Far preferable to the pernicious 'help for FTBs' on offer elsewhere.

Some new signage has appeared at the site. The line between public and private is rather blurred.

We all assumed Rochford Housing was the council. Now this sign clearly states the development by Rochford Housing, is funded by the Government's Homes And Communities Agency and Local Government.

rochfordhousing.jpg

Another new banner however, notes a more complex structure. Under Rochford Housing appear the logos of Rochford District Council, The Homes and Communities agency and Morgan Davis Wherry, Property Developers. Underneath all that is a logo of Sanctuary Group. (A tax exempt charity normally involved with care homes.)

wallpan.jpg

The 23 flats will be built in the corner of an ASDA car park. Great view.

asdapark.jpg

Opposite is a recent private development, built during the madness. This also had an 'affordable' type tag at the time of construction, offering flats for 'Key Workers'. Practically all are BTL and appear to change hands frequently, even in these times.

oppositeasda.jpg

Anyway, a lot of fingers in the pie.

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  • 284 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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