A Nice Little Earner Rodney

Last updated on June 6th, 2023 at 07:23 pm

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It was brought to my attention recently that the Met has sold Sunbury Cadet Centre (in Sunbury, obviously) as part of it’s austerity measures.  That left me feeling a little bit sad, not because the bricks and mortar had been sold, as one of our number commented “did Christianity collapse when they burnt churches? You move on and survive. Rebuild etc”, but because the ‘family silver’ has been sold, and you can only sell it once. I have no emotional ties to Sunbury Cadet Centre, I only ever used their canteen and occasionally parked Job vehicles there overnight for when they were needed early the next morning.

I just think that it is actually a short-sighted move financially.

As I have stated on many occasions I possess no qualifications whatsoever in Economics at any level, but I liken it to the age-old argument of Owning versus Renting.  I believe that Ownership is ultimately the best solution.

When I did some digging I discovered some interesting information concerning Sunbury Cadet Centre, that I suspect is repeated many times over with the 25+ Police Stations that the Met have sold off, Peel Centre and New Scotland Yard.

The property was offered for sale by Knight Franks, an agency which I’m assured handles many of the Met’s property transactions.

It was described as a site of just over 2 acres, close to the Thames, full details can be found here.

Linden Homes are advertising the developed site thus;

Lower Sunbury – Montford Place – Prices from £740, 000 A stunning selection of 28 Georgian style apartments and 3 and 4 bedroom new houses, near the River Thames”.

Prices actually appear to be in the range £710,000 to £780,000.

A document buried within the Local Authorities files shows that the subsequent developer had appealed the original planning decision and had won their case to erect 44 dwellings on the site.

Does this mean that there is a Phase 2 still to come?

Anyway, 28 houses/apartments at £750,000 each = £21 Million.

44 houses/apartments at £750,000 each = £33 Million.

Now I know that the Met has presumably had to pay Agency Commission to Knight Frank for conducting the sale, but even at 1% that would exceed £70,000.

The developers have had to flatten the site and build the new buildings.  I have absolutely no idea of the cost of that, but building costs are normally considerably lower than purchase costs.

So, I’m left wondering, who’s had the better deal here? The Met, who’ve realised £7 Million less costs, or the developer who PROBABLY stands to make considerably more than that once all of the houses/apartments are built and sold off.

The Met have sold off part of their family silver, the process is being repeated all across their estate.

“This sale was part of the wider review that is currently being carried out across the whole of the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) property estate, replacing inefficient and outdated buildings with more modern and
geographically responsive facilities.  These savings are then being reinvesting back into policing through new build and refurbishment projects, creating a more modern working environment fit for 21st century policing.”

Good practice?

Met’s Estate sold off under value?

An excellent solution to a dire financial problem?

Just one more nail in the coffin?

You decide, but before you do see the next blog here

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5 thoughts on “A Nice Little Earner Rodney”

  1. They seem to be, probably for the same reason they are crap at personell management, down to an over promoted typist being put in charge of HR.

  2. This has been going on for years. When the civvy estate managers ( which in my former force appears to be the bloke who cut the grass 25 years ago, but has now been put in charge of all things building wise) In my particular part of rural shire, just outside weasel piss creek, a new shiny police station was required to replace the lovely old Victorian nick that was deemed not fit for purpose. The answer, get a builder to flatten the old site, one nick, 4 three bedroom police houses, a nice cottage garden, and nearly five acres of grounds, then build the shiny new station out of papier-mâché and Lego, whilst giving him all the land to do with what he wants. The end result a shiny, but utterley useless station that will probably need total rebuilding in 10 to 15 years, whilst the builder nets about £5 mill from the house sales resulting from land development.
    But, the whole exercise was cost neutral for the force so it must if been a good plan……

  3. Alan … As we had already figured, a less than sound economic decision by The Met once again with another part of The Estate sold off below achievable value .This, as most Met Property is ‘ Prime location’ . A pattern of Economic naivity has emerged through such sales & will, one must assume, continue to do so ! Why not enter into a ‘Partneship’ with Developers and share the realised profits ? Would seem to make sense to me.

    Congrats for soing some excellent ‘digging’ Alan ….The People of London need to be made aware of such Financal irresponsibilty by MOPAC & The Met Police..

    1. Would I be right in thinking that these proprties are effectively publically owned? If so then surely the Met/MOPAC would be duty-bound to realise the best possuble price?

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