Several disused council-owned sites are set to be sold at the best possible price to boost the borough’s finances following a cabinet decision on Thursday.
The council has earmarked 15 sites for potential sale subject to final cabinet approval after an interim asset disposal strategy was approved. This sets out the criteria for whether disused council sites should be kept, used for something else or sold.
The new strategy, which is based on providing best value for taxpayers’ money, supports the Croydon Renewal Plan and medium-term financial strategy, which focus on ensuring the council reduces its debt and is financially sustainable.
All 15 sites are either surplus or no longer key to delivering council services, and include buildings needing major refurbishment or vacant land that could be sold for private redevelopment.
The strategy, which will also look at the council’s wider property requirements, is designed to ensure a high level of transparency and governance around any sales.
Before any future sales are agreed, officers will develop a business case, receive an independent property valuation, give details of any requirements to carry out public consultation and appoint specialist estate agents to market the sites.
The Croydon Park Hotel is one of these 15 sites, and it will be marketed for sale this spring, with bids to close in August. The final decision on a buyer will be made later this year.
Last year the council took back control of the 210-room hotel after its leasehold operator went into administration due to fewer bookings because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The council considered several alternative uses including another hotel, student accommodation or temporary housing, but all proved financially unviable.
The council’s new asset strategy also covers the potential sale of surplus council land, which could include some housing estate sites that have not yet been transferred to Brick by Brick.
“The council has a number of sites we no longer need which could bring in much-needed income and reduce expensive running costs if we were to sell them.
“This strategy gives the council a clearer process around deciding how to get best value for Croydon taxpayers on selling in the right way and at the right time sites that we no longer require. We will also ensure that all buildings and land we keep are properly used and continue to meet our residents’ needs.”
Councillor Stuart King, deputy leader and cabinet member for Croydon renewal