New Fenland Council cabinet backs £820k sale former Wisbech gas works site

12:37 26 June 2014

The Nene Waterfront site, in Wisbech. Picture: STEVE WILLIAMS

The Nene Waterfront site, in Wisbech. Picture: STEVE WILLIAMS

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Plans by Fenland District Council to sell the former gas works site in Wisbech has been ratified by its new cabinet.

It comes after new leader John Clark asked for a report to update councillors on the progress of the proposed £820,000 sale.

Cllr Clark quit the council’s cabinet last year after claiming he was kept in the dark over discussions to sell the former gas works site to Location Homes.

The deal for 70 homes on four acres alongside the River Nene – of which 24 are for social housing – was described at the time as time-critical to secure Government funding for the social housing.

But Location Homes Ltd, a new company set up by GB Construction of Wisbech St Mary, is yet to sign for the land and Circle Housing has only recently applied for funding to pay for the social housing.

A report to cabinet members said: “Heads of terms have now been agreed.

“These are particularised through a build lease to protect the council’s interests.

“Target date for completion of build lease is June/July 2014.”

The report added: “Having better understood the proposals, the previous decision of cabinet to dispose of the site to GB stands and it looks forward to much needed housing being delivered for the local community.”

The same briefing said liaison with the new owner of Wisbech courthouse was necessary “to determine the proposals for the site and to ensure a joined up, comprehensive development occurs should the intention be development of the site”.

The council pulled out of an agreement to buy the former courthouse from the Ministry of Justice. The building was bought by Wisbech entrepreneur John Foster.

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