Reddish North’s Labour Councillors and Member of Parliament are demanding answers from Stockport Council about the valuation and sale of the former North Reddish Junior & Infants School on Longford Road.
The former school was closed as part of changes to local primary school provision and was put up for sale by Stockport Council. In July this year the school was sold for £205,000 to an investor looking to possibly open a school for children with special needs or a care home. At the time, local councillors were told that this value was the best deal the Council could get for this beautiful, listed building that is a very important and much cherished local landmark to our community.
Information has now surfaced which shows that the new owners are looking to sell the site for a combined value of £750,000. This is after the Council told councillors and residents that the sale price of £205,000 was the best they could achieve.
Reddish North Labour Councillor, Kate Butler, commented:
“Serious questions need to be asked about how the Council valued the former school and why it accepted the offer it did. It is very odd that a few months after the sale a private agent is looking to sell the site for £750,000.
“What has changed to make it worth so much more? And if the new owners could approach a specialist agent to get a valuation more in line with expectations, why couldn’t the council have done the same?
“Of course, there is no guarantee the new asking price will be achieved. But it does leave questions about how the Council markets and sells publically-owned properties. The buildings are very important to us as a community and it was a wrench to see them sold. We need to know why the Council sold them on the cheap, as it looks like they have.”
Labour MP for Denton & Reddish, Andrew Gwynne, added:
“These revelations, showing that the market value of North Reddish School is around £750,000, are truly shocking.
“I am frankly appalled that Stockport Council flogged this asset off on the cheap for £205,000. Serious questions about the competence of the Liberal Democrat Executive Member who approved this sale must be answered now. The community in North Reddish deserve to know the full story.”
The former school buildings are being advertised by specialist business and property agents to the care profession, Bishops. The Infant School site is advertised online here – http://www.bishopscare.co.uk/forSale.php with an asking price of £325,000. The Junior School site is advertised in a separate document produced by the agents; with an asking price of £425,000 (unfortunately this is not online).
Both sites are advertised as sites which could ‘be suitable for variety of uses including a Specialist School or Day Nursery. Alternatively, there could be many other possible uses including the healthcare sector, all subject to planning’.
As always, your Labour Councillors and MP in Reddish North will keep residents informed about the answers we receive.