October 1 2014 Latest news:
Story by: JOHN ELWORTHY
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
A former rectory owned by the county council is going back to an auction after a private sale collapsed.
Cambridgeshire County Council is once again hoping to dispose of Croylands in Cambridge Road, Ely, at a London auction on May 19.
McCarthy & Stone, the house builders, were one time buyers of the house but later withdrew after failing to secure planning permission for retirement apartments.
However so close to getting permission were they, it is expected a fresh bid from them might happen at auction.
Neighbour, county councillor Bill Hunt, has fought to stop the apartments development and is fearful that if the building fails to reach its reserve it could once again be the subject of a conditional offer from McCarthy & Stone.
Cllr Hunt said he favoured the route adopted by the county council cabinet which still prefers a straight sale rather than a conditional offer whilst McCarthy & Stone submit a fresh application.
“Any conditional offer which comes along with a low deposit must be examined with very close scrutiny,” he said. “Any such offers involves a ‘subject to planning’ caveat is highly unlikely to be to be in the best interests of the public purse. “
Guide price is now £500,000 which is considerably less than a previous auction price.
Cllr Hunt said: “I attended the original auction on February 24 and apparently the bidding reached £636,000 but this was not accepted. I could not see the bidder.
“Local residents are fearful of what may happen to this valuable heritage asset but they take some confirm the sales particulars that the building must be retained in any development.”
He said if a conditional offer was to be accepted this would not be in the interests of local taxpayers.
Their interests “will not be served by a half hearted auction followed by a conditional sale to a developer who has no real interest in the area’s heritage assets or the welfare of local residents”.