Updated 1st June 12.55
You really couldn’t make it up. Seriously, in March 2018 Folkestone & Hythe District (FHDC) substantially completed the purchase of Ross House Ross Way Folkstone (pictured below) to provide 16 units of social housing accommodation for the Housing Revenue Account for £1.8m. The property was not able to be let to tenants until early April 2018 due to various minor works required to be completed. Cllr Alan Ewart James (pictured) is the Cabinet member responsible for Housing and the Housing Revenue Account.
However, seven months earlier the previous owners Mulberry Tree Holdings Limited paid £680,000 for the property, according to the land registry. How we ask, in seven months can a property jump in value by £1,120,000? Or have the Council once again paid over the odds?
Anyway, the Council no doubt have purchased the said property to place persons who are homeless families in it. This is because last year as you may or may not know, B & B costs breached the million pound barrier for the first time ever. Also the Council briefly mention in their political puff piece “Your District Today” page 5 (pictured), that since the beginning of March 2018 “all homeless households were offered self contained accommodation instead.” Is Ross House in Ross Way Folkestone the accommodation they are referring to? We believe it is.
This is not the first time the Council have paid over the odds for property or land.
On the 21st December 2016, Dr Susan Priest of FHDC used the Council’s urgency powers to purchase the 10.5 acre piece of land at Biggins Wood from Adrian Kirby for £1.5 million. However, BNP Paribas valued the land at £1.2 million. Why did the Council pay an extra £300,000 for a former rubbish tip? Is there gold or gas in that there land?
Then there is No 19 Castle Hill Avenue which the Council paid £1.2 million to a Jersey based offshore company. Again this purchase according to local estate agents was way above market value/prices. By the time the Council purchased the property it had almost tripled in value.
Who advised the Council on the purchase of this property – Ross House – and are there any connections between officers or Councillors to Mr Oliver Gordon Davis that none of us know about? We are NOT suggesting Mr Davis has done ANYTHING wrong.
We know that Mr Davis has connections to Hythe, If anyone knows anything about any connections, please do drop us a line at shepwayvox@riseup dot net.
Since publication Mr Davis has contacted us and stated the following:
“Ross House was purchased by us as a disused and near derelict office building that needed significant investment before it could be utilised for any use. Upon purchase we practically rebuilt the building including replacing the entire roof, and converting the space from completely open place office space to form 16 new apartments. This also included a completely new power supply run from military Way and new mains water supply to cope with 16 apartments. This included building over 125 walls and installing 117 new UPVC windows, We have also installed a large tarmac parking area and also a rear garden area to finish.
This significant level of works took nearly 8 months with a team of over 20 staff. And in the end we sold the properties to the council for significantly under open market value which is estimated to be in excess of £2.1m.”
Is Mr Davis asking us and you dear readers to believe he took a £300,000 hit on the building? If this is so, we would like to know why? Has he been promised something by elected and unelected officials at FHDC?
Or is Mr Davis a charity? Of course he is not. There must be moreto this than meets the eye, wouldn’t you agree dear reader?
The Shepwayvox Team – Dissent is NOT a Crime