Posted by: John Brace | 23rd September 2019

Whiston Fire Station sold by Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority for £315,000 (but estate agents charged £5,670 commission)

Whiston Fire Station sold by Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority for £315,000 (but estate agents charged £5,670 commission)

                                

Hardie Brack invoice for sale of Whiston fire station

Hardie Brack invoice for sale of Whiston fire station

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority opened a new fire station at Prescot last year which is connected to the closure of fire stations at Huyton and Whiston. The cost of the new fire station was to be offset by the sale of the closed fire stations and councillors on Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority previously agreed a budget estimating that Whiston Fire Station would be sold for £250,000 in the 2016/17 financial year (which didn’t happen).

On Wirral Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority also expected to sell the closed fire station at West Kirby in the 2016/17 financial year for £200,000 and also to sell Upton Fire Station (once it closed after Saughall Massie became operational) for £350,000. As far as I know neither of those two fire stations have been sold (although the public and councillors were told at the time of the consultations on closure that the money from the sale of these two would be used to offset the cost of the new fire station at Saughall Massie).

Whiston Fire Station was finally sold for £315,000 in 2018. However it was only sold after outline planning permission for eighteen detached and semi-detached dwellings for the site was granted.

Hardie Brack Limited charged Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority £5,670 in August 2018 for work involved in the marketing and sale of Whiston fire station.

However closed fire stations don’t always end up with houses being built on the site as in Wrexham, the closed fire station there has been demolished and a cattery is being built there.

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Responses

  1. Said this all along the land is only worth a price if some one comes along and buys it, if not its worthless. And i suppose the rate payer makes up any short falling?

    • Well yes, to give Upton and West Kirby as an example Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority hasn’t received the £200,000 and £350,000 it expected to receive which was supposed to offset the cost of Saughall Massie fire station.

      However as Saughall Massie fire station is now open – the contractor will have been now been paid the full amount for building it.

      Unless the £550,000 shortfall has been made up by MFRA by internal borrowing (by that I mean borrowing its own money) or using its reserves – that money would have to be borrowed externally and if so have to be paid back over years with interest (or at least until the point where the loan could be paid back from the sale of one or both fire stations).

      So yes, with a delayed sale, the money that was expected to be in the budget from the sale has to be made up from somewhere.

  2. The location of Upton fire station is near housing so I can see that being viable land to recoup on. They could probably get a little cul-de-sac on that plot. However, West Kirby fire station is located in an odd place next to West Kirby railway station and the Concourse and its car park. I struggle to imagine what could be erected there in the way of domestic dwellings.

    • Thanks for your comment.

      Giving the example of Whiston above though I think that a developer would prefer to buy a site for housing once planning permission is given, rather than buy it first and apply for planning permission. I presume it’s also easier for a developer to borrow money for the development if there’s the certainty of a planning permission to show a lender.

      Yes the fire station in West Kirby is in the centre of West Kirby – if it was sold I’m not sure what a developer would want to change it to.


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