'Most expensive ever council property' to be auctioned off by local authority
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Local Government and also in Finance, Housing
Southwark Council is to auction off what it believes will become the most expensive council property ever sold.
Due to be auctioned with a guide price of at least £2.3 million next week, the Grade II listed building was acquired by Southwark after the Greater London Council was dissolved in 1986.
After the transfer, Southwark used the property as part of its housing stock and the self-contained basement area was used most recently as an office.
Now lying vacant, the council claims it makes economic sense to sell the building and invest the money back in housing stock elsewhere.
The buyer will have to invest in structural repairs and refurbishment, and the council says that proposals will need to be sensitive to the building's architectural and historic interest and will be scrutinised carefully as part of any planning and listed building consent that is needed.
Dating from around 1820, it is believed to have originally been homes for managers or directors of the Anchor Brewery, which at the time was thought to be the biggest brewery in the world.
Changes of ownership eventually led to acquisition of the brewery by Courage, leading to a "Take Courage" advert on the side of property which has become a landmark in the borough.
Councillor Fiona Colley, cabinet member for regeneration, said: “The costs of repair and refurbishment, coupled with the sale price mean that selling this building was always the best option. The receipt will contribute to our new 11,000 council house building programme.”
Councillor Ian Wingfield added: “Selling council homes is not something I would ordinarily advocate, but this is a no-brainer in terms of the capital we’ll receive to invest back into housing, for improving existing stock and new-build.”