Letter: Put golf course proposal to an independent enquiry

Call for council's golf course proposal be put to an independent public enquiry.
Call for council's golf course proposal be put to an independent public enquiry.

The proposal to sell off land to the financially struggling golf club beggars belief. Not only that, but a business which is obviously financially challenged will be propped up by the council tax payers of this authority.

How, may you ask? Well, in order to pay for the large acreage they use, which is £750,000 (local district valuer’s assessment) the ERYC is allowing them to sell off a small plot at building land price to a “preferred builder” - their word, not mine, in order to raise the funds to pay the council the £750,000, which it values the whole of the land at.

•If this club is cash strapped, why is it still trading?

•How long has the lease to run?

•Why can a tenant be allowed to sell off a small portion of the whole, to raise an amount above and beyond the asking price for the whole site?

•Is it within council remit/or even ethical, to re-organise the funding of ownership of council assets to a private concern in order to bale it out?

•ERYC has a duty to maximise both assets and income from the sales of assets on behalf of its council tax payers.

•If the sitting tenant’s lease was foreclosed, even with a financial penalty to agree, then ERYC could sell off the whole of the land for building, and gain many millions of pounds for the council tax payers to fund the services they are having to cut.

Granted the members would have to move to other nearby clubs, but there are three close by, all of which would benefit by increased numbers.

With regard to the valuation, surely more than one is required for such an important sale.

Likewise the potential sale of building land, this must be advertised nationally to gain best offers.

Given the price agreed for the small building plot of £1.75 million, then the whole must be at least £50 million. Possibly more due to the number of houses which could be built.

It makes £750,000 look decidedly undervalued for the total site.

Finally, how long would it be before the golf club decided to close and sell the remaining land themselves for building? And who would be the beneficiaries?

Certainly not the council tax payers.

This must go to an independent public enquiry and an independent valuer with access to all the facts.

B Turton

Constable Road