Cut-price land sale will help Hartlepool community project

Bargain basement: The former Owton Manor West Neighbourhood Watch and Residents' Association building on Brierton Lane
Bargain basement: The former Owton Manor West Neighbourhood Watch and Residents' Association building on Brierton Lane

A COUNCIL has agreed to sell a piece of land for £10,000 less than the market value so that an empty unit can be brought back into use.

A shop unit in Brierton Lane, Hartlepool, that was used by the former Owton Manor West Neighbourhood and Residents’ Association is set to be sold.

The new owners will be Southbrooke Community Project which intends to use the building for alternative education and community services.

But the sale hit a snag after it emerged that an extension was on land owned by Hartlepool Borough Council.

The council agreed to sell the land for the extension to the association in 2006 for £2,000 but the transfer of land never took place.

Since that time the market value of the land and extension, which belongs to the council, has risen to £12,000.

But the council has agreed to honour its original promise so the sale of the building to the Southbrooke Community Project can go ahead.

Councillors on the Finance and Policy Committee heard the sale of the land at less than the market value met the authority’s protocol on the issue.

Southbrooke Community Project is based at Southbrooke Community Farm, near Summerhill.

It is a local authority approved provider for delivering alternative education to young people who are not in full time education.

It also offers accreditation in a Princes Trust qualification which includes students working in a classroom setting.

Denise Ogden, the council’s director of regeneration and neighbourhoods said in a report: “The department would welcome Southbrooke Community Project moving the academic study part of the course to the improved facilities which would be provided by the unit in Brierton Lane and strongly believes youngsters would too.”

Southbrooke Community Project have a greed a covenant to be included within the sale restricting the unit’s to be used only for non-profit, youth, educational and community work for 10 years.

Ms Ogden added: “The benefits of the sale and the subsequent scheme cannot be achieved without sale at under value as a requirement for sale at full value is likely to result in the sale to the Southbrooke Project not proceeding.”