Council to buy back derelict Mansfield flats

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Mansfield District Council is set to purchase a derelict block of flats and piece of land after the owner of the site went into administration.

In 2004 the council sold 10 blocks of flats in Victoria Court, Mansfield, for £1m to Finsbury Estates Ltd. The sale was conditional on a number of covenants, which included the right of the council to re-purchase within 21 years of completion of sale if Finsbury Estates Ltd failed to substantially complete the refurbishment of the flats within 12 months.

Although the company successfully completed the refurbishment of the blocks numbered 1-18, the remaining blocks (nos. 19 - 48) have not been completed.

A counil statement added: “Over the years, the council has been in discussions with the Finsbury Estates regarding the completion of the works and also to determine their plans for the site, which included demolition of the remaining blocks to make way for a new development on the site. The council adopted a flexible approach with respect to the company’s proposals. However over the last few years little progress was made.

The company has now gone into administration and receivers have been appointed by the company’s bank. The receiver has appointed two new companies to manage the refurbished properties and the site.

The value of the site is now significantly less than what the council achieved in 2004. The cost of acquiring and demolishing the site is estimated to be approximately £240,000.”

Coun Mick Colley, Portfolio Holder for Tenancy Services and Housing Needs, said: “This is an exciting opportunity to make a real difference to the area by removing what has become an eyesore and creating a more attractive and welcoming environment.

“The acquisition and redevelopment of this site will help reduce crime, regenerate the area and create jobs in construction, provide new housing to meet the needs of a range of customers including vulnerable people and improve the current site from an environmental perspective.”

When the purchase of the site is secured, the Council intends to demolish the buildings and hopes to start developing plans for a comprehensive redevelopment of the area in spring / early summer 2013.