BREAKING NEWS: Shock as Leader of the House of Commons reveals the fate of Wisbech court house

15:23 14 March 2014

Wisbech Court House and police station

Wisbech Court House and police station

Archant

A private developer has snapped up the former magistrates’ court in Wisbech ahead of its planned sale at an auction later this month.

Allsop auctioneers confirmed today the building- with a guide price of between £100-£150,000- had been sold privately.

News of the surprise sale had been confirmed by, of all people, the leader of the House of Commons, MP Andrew Lansley.

In a brief exchange with NE Cambs MP Steve Barclay, Mr Lansley made the surprise announcement yesterday that he expected the sale “will be completed imminently”.

Mr Barclay had called for a statement from Mr Lansley after complaining that “one taxpayer funder body, the Ministry of Justice, is selling it at a reduced rate because a second taxpayer-funded body, Cambridgeshire police, is refusing to vacate it as a sitting tenant”.

The MP claimed this was preventing “a third taxpayer-funded body, the local authority, from redeveloping the site and therefore not offering the taxpayer value for money”.

Mr Lansley said he was aware of the Ministry of Justice trying to negotiate an earlier sale with Fenland District Council who “then withdrew its offer. The Ministry of Justice decided that sale at auction was the best option but the auction did not proceed because an offer was received from a local developer at what it considered to be an acceptable market price.”

The leader of the Commons added: “It is likely that the sale will be completed imminently but I have asked the Ministry of Justice whether the under secretary of state for justice (Shalish Vara) who is responsible for courts and legal aid could discuss the issue with you as a matter of urgency in order to establish the position.”

The building would have gone up for auction on March 27: Allsop’s had advertised it as nearly 5,000 square feet internal area with potential for change of use or redevelopment.

Cambs Police will stay, however, as neighbours and on a lengthy lease at a peppercorn rent.

1 comment

  • right on queue!! ...cloak & dagger shenanigans aside, with use of modern technology, land registry aiding disclosure of information and councilors (?) demanding equitable use of publicly funded buildings in the best interests of those the building ultimately belongs to (UK tax payers) its only a matter of time before answers become public knowledge. credit to Wisbech Standard for being diligent. what now?

    Report this comment

    Cynical Irony

    Monday, March 17, 2014

More news stories

Yesterday, 20:50
David Neale.

Police searching for a missing man from Outwell have today (Wednesday) found a body in River Nene in Wisbech.

Yesterday, 17:04
Sunshine Coast mayor visiting March. Sunshine coast Mayor Mark Jamieson with Lily Rose Keenoy and Lewis Howe from Cavalry school and Cllr Carol Cox..Picture: Steve Williams.

The Mayor of the Sunshine Coast in Australia made a 10,000 mile trip to pay his respects to one of his countrymen, Second World War hero Jim Hocking, today.

Yesterday, 16:39
Chapel road car park.Wisbech.

Police and council officials are working to make sure there is no breach of the peace after about 30 gypsy vans parked at the rugby field in Wisbech.

Yesterday, 15:48
Bee Hotel  launched by facet and Sainsburys. Students from Facet with the Mayor of March Rob Skoulding and Michelle Connolly Sainsbury's PR ambassador. Picture: Steve Williams.

Busy bee students were out in force at the side of Sainsbury’s in March to plant a wildlife haven in March town centre.

Most read stories

Most commented stories

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Cambs Times e-edition today E-edition