Duchy To End Controversial Tendering Process For Accommodation

Hugh House, the offices of the Duchy of Cornwall

The Duchy of Cornwall is moving away from their controversial tender process for residential accommodation.

Land Steward Chris Gregory says he’s started to set the price for rents, as that’s what is done on the mainland.

This happened recently when the Old Town Barn was offered to tenants and Chris says this will now be standard unless it is a property that’s considered ‘not run of the mill’.

But he says the Duchy has always stated that they are not obliged to accept the highest bid.

The tender process has been criticised over the years as some islanders, desperate to secure a property, have reportedly offered more than they can afford. Chris says they are looking to achieve a rent that is affordable in the circumstances.

And demand remains high.

Watermill house generated thirteen expressions of interest and five applicants were interviewed before the property was let.

But there has been some criticism over the letting of a refurbished St Marys property to a Council staff key worker. The Duchy Tenants Association feels other people with the same status didn’t get a look in.

Chris Gregory says it is not uncommon for accommodation to be made available for certain individuals or  job positions to meet specific needs, rather than being offered on the open market.

So far this year, the Duchy has offered 8 residences on the open market. They have provided 3 opportunities for existing tenants to move to more appropriate accommodation and let 3 properties to meet specific needs.