Bradford Council Make £22m Selling Property In Four Years

The former Bradford Register Office on Manor Row was sold for £350,000 in 2017 to disability charity Bradnet.

Bradford Council has sold on property worth over £22 million over four years.

Properties sold in that period include a former school site, a children’s home, houses and a register office.

The figures were revealed as part of a national investigation by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, and show that between 2014 and 2018 Bradford Council sold or transferred 318 buildings or pieces of land – bringing in £22,667,340.

The Council says the sales had helped maintain budgets for services when funding for local councils was being cut by central Government.

The biggest sale made in the last few years was the sale of land at Shirley Manor in Wyke – the vacant land was sold in 2014 for £1,196,589.

The 2016 sale of the Whetley Hill Resource Centre and land surrounding it brought in £679,000. Last summer plans to turn the building into a wedding and conference venue were submitted by The White Abbey Ballroom Limited. The application was approved last month.

The former site of Heaton Royds Special School in Shipley was sold in 2015 for £461,000. The site has since been proposed as a housing development.

The former Bradford Register Office on Manor Row was sold for £350,000 in 2017 to disability charity Bradnet.

A former bed shop on Sunbridge Road was sold at auction in December 2017 for £214,000. Plans to turn the the upper floors of the building into flats were approved last year.

Wibsey Park Lodge was sold in October for £156,000. That sale has been mired in controversy, as the lodge was pulled down shortly after the sale – without planning permission. An N Rahim has since submitted a retrospective application for the demolition of the building and the construction of four, three-bed semi-detached houses on the site.

Other Council-owned properties were sold for a nominal fee. A plot of land was sold at Cleckheaton Road in 2015 for just £1.

Former toilets at Station Road in Ilkley were sold for a nominal £1 fee in 2015.

Other properties were transferred at no cost. Most of these were schools which went from being run by Bradford Council to becoming academies or free schools.

A Council spokesperson said: “Since 2011, the Council has approved £262 million of budget savings and has invested £56 million into priority areas largely to help cover the impact of demographic growth across social care.
“The cuts on Local Government have been huge, far greater than other Government departments and damaging to those people who rely on public services the most.

“One way that many councils have been able to manage these challenging cuts is by finding new ways of working to occupy buildings more efficiently, to invest in the retained estate and deliver savings. This includes rationalising and reorganising assets, which means in some cases selling them and in others expanding.

Neighbouring Calderdale Council sold 42 spaces for more than £3,054,056 in the same time period.

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