Sale Will Fund New Home And Demolition Work

Old school site, currently being used as offices.

Old school site, currently being used as offices.

The Council will use money from the sale of a former Local Authority property to part fund demolition of the old secondary school at Carn Thomas and to buy a new house for senior staff.

As we reported last month, Council Chief Executive Theo Leijser has said some of the funding for site clearance will also come from the rent that Kier are currently paying for space in the building.

At last week’s Community Services meeting, Housing Officer Ian Hamilton confirmed that the home of the former Chief Executive Phillip Hygate was purchased from the Authority last month.

It had been on the market since autumn 2013, originally for an asking price of £400,000 although councillors voted to reduce that to £350,000 last year as the number of enquiries dried up.

They also removed a clause which would have meant the Council could claw back some of the profits made on a subsequent sale by anyone developing the site.

Mr Hamilton said using the proceeds to demolish and remove the old secondary school building would make that area more attractive to developers.

The Council has been in talks with Cornwall Rural Housing Association about constructing a number of extra care homes there, although they haven’t yet been able to secure funding yet.

Clearing the site will remove some of the uncertainty over the costs of building, he said.

It’s understood that the Town Hall are considering the purchase of a £300,000 home on Church Road too.

Members have been told that they intend to buy the property for their ‘General Fund,’ which provides housing for employees rather than the general public.

The Council already has a number of these homes available including a flat in Hugh Street and bungalows at the airport.

The new addition to their portfolio will be used to house senior Council management who are relocating to Scilly for work.

36 Responses to Sale Will Fund New Home And Demolition Work

  1. Ray Wornes July 23, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    A hostel is a very constructive suggestion Ewart and hopefully the old school could incorporate a number of other uses. This could facilitate the bright new future outlined by the CEO but not followed up by a practical plan showing us the way to achieve it. The whole concept of a Council providing facilities and services and making money on behalf of the community appeals to me at both the Airport and the old school. And what about community profits from renewable energy. With all of the severe cuts to Gov’t funding all Councils need to study the possibility of making money in support of local services like the Museum, the Library and care for the elderly etc.and not give in to Gov’t cuts aiming to force Local Authorities into severe debt and having to sell off assets to the private sector with more expensive services. I would support our Local Council owning a passenger boat because it would have to be accountable to the community in which case we could have a subsidised cheap, fast early morning boat service to Penz and a means of cheaply exporting our waste and importing cheap aggregates which would bring more benefits to this Scilly community supporting self build housing. Why can’t we create real meaningful change here on Scilly?

    • Ewart July 23, 2015 at 8:00 pm

      Ray, Thank you for supporting the idea of a youth hostel. To me it is a waste of materials to demolish a building before you consider if it can be used for some other purpose.
      I note you would support the Council owning a passenger boat, I do not think this is likely,but if the the Islands were intregrated with Cornwall Council,this could become a possibility. The thinking behind this is the Governmnent is giving Cornwall devolved powers for thansport etc. Could this be a way forward, thus breaking tne monopoly of the IOS Steamship company.


  2. pete July 20, 2015 at 9:41 pm

    Ewart Your suggesting cheap accommodation ” on the Scillys” go and wash your mouth out.

    • Ewart July 21, 2015 at 8:26 pm

      Yes I am suggesting more reasonable accommodation, it may open the eyes of the rip off marchants,but heaven forbid there any of thoses on the Islands!!!!

      • Adam Morton, St.Martins July 22, 2015 at 8:32 am

        Whilst I totally agree we need more reasonable priced accommodation. I think you may be over simplifying it. Put up a building for perhaps £300.000 or buy one for maybe £600.000 and then work out a reasonable annual return on investment divide it by say 25 weeks , add labour and running expenses and hey you have your “reasonable” accommodation! To get reasonable prices it has to cost reasonable money which it doesn’t. Even if it gets developed into disabled housing association stock or whatever, each unit is going to cost at least 250-£300.000, even at say 6% that’s £18.000 pa! Thats going to cost the taxpayer dear in housing benefit or else build costs written off. Ok ,maybe thats possible but hardly fair on those paying full price and having to work Bl**dy hard to do so! I still say the only fair thing is reducing import costs fairly across the board for everyone rather than trying to set up a few in advantageous positions at taxpayer expense to undercut the taxpayers not benefiting!

  3. Ewart July 18, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    Just a suggestion, why not convert the building into a YMCA hostel. It could attract youngsters not only from the UK but all over the World.

  4. Ray Wornes July 18, 2015 at 11:11 am

    There is much talk these days about joined up services for the elderly. This means that those services have to be provided at a reasonable cost whoever is running the service. Hopefully in future serviced accommodation could be provided by the NHS. Therefore putting elderly people into units on the site of the old Sec school is inefficient and unacceptable. I wouldn’t want to live on that main road with nowhere to walk, no garden and not close to the main health services. In future we need to provide efficient integrated services. That could mean building apartments for the most needy elderly people on to the hospital where you have doctors and nurses on hand 24/7. This could be one answer to a very big problem. So forget about providing elderly care at the old Sec. school site and check out an extension to the Hospital to house the people who require the most intensive care in a quiet place with a garden and a view looking over St. Agnes. Unless the accommodation is built in an attractive setting then we will not be able to persuade the elderly to leave their homes that may contain a lifetime of memories and hand them over to our young couples. The Sec. school would have other uses.

  5. A local July 17, 2015 at 6:48 pm

    Disappointed no ‘outraged of Brum’ posts – hint to Island Partnership, need to increase Scilly awareness and marketing in the Birmingham area!

    Not sure about this suggestion

  6. Ray Wornes July 17, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    There are a number of new uses the old Sec. school could be put to and I think it is sad that you RC can’t think of any. Some could possibly make lots of money for our Council but of course that may not be allowed as we have seen with the Airport where some Councillors wanted to reduce the income still further even though it was already running at a loss, just why I wonder? Sadly there is no proper opposition that can ask searching questions. Some school alternatives could support the whole tourist industry both in and out of season. This Council could be making money both at the Airport and at the old school but I suspect the business sector wouldn’t want that to happen. How can we move forward as a community with such a divided Council? Is it time we stopped allowing Councillors to hide their real political intensions behind the Independent label? At least that would be one less problem for the voters.

    • Roger Banfield July 18, 2015 at 8:42 am

      Ray. Here is a golden opportunity for you to put yourself forward as a candidate for one of the vacant seats on the Council.
      Obviously you have thought deeply about the school site, and are in a position to provide a spreadsheet of your money making schemes that the school site could be used for, showing costings and a bottom line profit. Something the Council, in your view, are not able to do !
      Perhaps I am being naive, but why wouldn’t the business sector be in support of a viable airport or old school site. Surely, any prosperity in Scilly is of benefit to all, in one way or another ?
      You ask, ‘How can we move forward as a community with such a divided Council?’ Simple, you put up for election and, if elected, apply the skills that the Council are lacking, and that you have identified. Substantiate your claims and show them where they are going wrong. Lead the way.
      Roger Banfield

      • Sheila Thomas July 23, 2015 at 12:23 am

        well said Roger! too many people on these islands are too quick to criticise without knowing the full facts

        • Sue M July 23, 2015 at 9:00 am

          Absolutely right Sheila. I know you’ve never done that, even when you were a councillor.

          • Trudi H July 23, 2015 at 10:09 pm

            Too true Sue,
            Sheila was a gifted councillor who showed remarkable insight and
            always carefully and thoroughly evaluated every report and question that needed her properly informed judgement. She would never just unquestioningly put her hand up at the same time as the cronies that was never her way.

  7. Public Domain July 16, 2015 at 9:28 am

    “c63/14 – Full Council, 5 August 2014

    The Senior Manager for Strategic Development presented her report entitled ‘6 Sally Port’ and dated 28 July 2014.

    She said that no offers had been received at or around the £400,000 level and that income was being lost and costs incurred as the situation progressed without a resolution. She also pointed out that the Housing Officer had indicated his preference of Option 5 being pursued.


    That a sale price estimated by the District Valuer be accepted, and for the property to marketed at this price and proceeds of any sale to be immediately invested in available lower cost housing.”

  8. Ray Wornes July 16, 2015 at 8:48 am

    In my view the old Secondary School is essential to achieving many of the future aims of this community if only Councillors and Officers would take the time to look into the many potential uses of that building which could even earn money. It could as a Further Education facility contribute to raising the standard of education and expertise providing research, experimentation and which could deliver improved Council decision making in the future. The refurbishment of the building could be spread over years as each sector activity is being developed. This Council is being bounced into adopting hasty policy decisions for redevelopment and privatisation that have only promoted the often incompatible commercial needs of the Scilly private sector and at the longer term expense of this community and its environment. That agenda is going to be hard to defeat unless Councillors take control with a strategy of their own. Now where have I heard that before?

    • Ray Charles July 16, 2015 at 12:35 pm

      Who is willing to establish a Further Education facility on that site? How on earth could that business model be sustainable with our numbers? And why would it improve the Council decision making?

      Why have you inserted the word ‘hasty’ in there? Define ‘hasty’. There’s a Local Plan consultation ongoing, there’s been umpteen discussions held over the last couple of years about the school site, I’m not sure how all this is considered to be ‘hasty’? Do you mean ‘tasty’? Easily confused Ray.

      What agenda is going to be hard to defeat?

      Councillors DO have a strategy of their own, it’s a Council, decisions are reached on a concensus, a majority vote. There’s 21 of the buggers Ray, and they meet quite often to make decisions to improve the community we live in. In fact, there’s 3 vacancies now, get yourself on there and help out.

  9. Fiona Robson July 15, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    Well said Kay. As for the gentleman who does not like all the works that have been going on over the past few years please remember that we do have to live here. The new school was essential. Porthcressa is an asset, we now have a library used by locals and visitors as well as seating used by locals all year round. The Airport was down to C.A.A regulations. The harbour is being extended and improved because it no longer viable with the amount of passengers using the quay. Yes it is a nuisance but it will not go on forever.

    • Adam Morton, St.Martins July 15, 2015 at 3:57 pm

      Fiona, the average earnings in Scilly are £13660 (p9 of the local plan) . You can’t expect the niceties of public seating to be at the top of everyone’s agenda. How many planes flew yesterday? Only the grip test was down to CAA regs. There are in fact less passengers using the quay not more!

      • Sheila Thomas July 23, 2015 at 12:27 am

        Adam, perhaps if you went to some of the council meetings you would know that the CAA could legally have shut down our airport and it was NOT only due to the grip test of the runways.

    • confused July 15, 2015 at 3:59 pm

      agreed on every point. I’d like to add the roads to your list if i may though, they were a good decade past needing to be done when Lagan arrived

      • Ian T. July 15, 2015 at 4:54 pm

        Yes, the roads are wonderful for someone like me with a walking problem. So much better than the pavements…!!

        • Mr Sillyme July 23, 2015 at 8:50 am

          I rejoice in the fact that infrastructure has been able to assist you with one of your problems.

    • S Moorhen July 23, 2015 at 12:16 am

      Your right Fiona, it won’t go on forever because they have burnt through the reserves quite literally as if there is no tomorrow whilst levering up the salaries & pensions for the in crowd (and in some instances their spouses) through “reorganisation”. look at the figures if the council ends up paying substantial compensation to yet another former employee their (our!!) coffers will be close to empty. The council has never in its long history been run in such an inadequate and amateurish manner. The Linguist should hang her head in shame as she is one of the significant architects of the lumbering top heavy behemoth that our council has become.

  10. Salop Dave July 15, 2015 at 10:26 am

    Couldn’t agree more with Mr Wormes. Every time I visit Scilly these days there’s a major building project disturbing the place. Kier seem to have established a permanent base on the islands. Time to settle it all down for awhile and return it back to a nice place to live in and visit rather than the perpetual building site it has become. Someone needs to get a grip on all this before it becomes Birmingham by the sea with overloaded sewers and a bust transport system.

    • Republic of St Marys July 15, 2015 at 12:48 pm

      HOW DARE the islands try to improve the infrastructure and provide housing for families who live in fuel poverty…

      This sort of thing is exactly why tourism shouldn’t be the prime source of income for the islands, because it leads to decisions on infrastructure being delayed or even shelved on the grounds of tourists being ‘unruffled’.

      I’m absolutely steaming. Don’t go sharing your thoughts too loudly in the pubs next time you’re over Dave…

      • Salop Dave July 16, 2015 at 6:04 pm

        Don’t worry yourself, I’m sure freedom of speech will survive in Scilly pubs until I’m next over there. Besides, I’ll probably be surrounded by the many Scillonians worried about over development, wrong development, fed up with over runs, over spends and disturbance including work/traffic outside normal hours. Scillonians, who until this recent dash to build, have for generations developed Scilly’s infrastructure cautiously and sensibly to maintain a wonderful place to live and work in (and us to envy) with the healthy level of tourists giving Scilly a better infrastructure than would otherwise be possible. So onward to the next ‘essential’ project? May be a consultancy generated masterplan for Holgates designed to enhance ‘visitor experience’ with funny steps and seats alongside rebuilding the Rechabite slip, sold as absolutely critical for economic progress. With the usual stores/site/traffic/workers accommodation and over runs. Love the library by the way.

        Disappointed no ‘outraged of Brum’ posts – hint to Island Partnership, need to increase Scilly awareness and marketing in the Birmingham area!

  11. Adam Morton, St.Martins July 15, 2015 at 9:15 am

    So they are selling off public property to buy a property to replace the one they just sold and it’s to house council officers? Just when is it that this LA intends to actually provide any service to the public? Is this what they base their governance on? . They got rid of the TIC, looking at farming out the responsibility of the airport, waste disposal school etc etc. yet no doubt keep most of the money to pay an officer to do what? Its like having a posh airport with no planes, workshops with no workers and an upgraded quay with no boat!!
    This alleged austerity driven restructuring – exactly how many less staff are there? And how big a pay cut did the officers take? Or is it just public services and not the Council that took the cuts? I’m still struggling to fathom why Mr Barry keel was paid an alleged £750 a day to restructure and then Mr Leijser was then paid £100.000 pa to undo it? Is it a bit like the eleven thousand pound cable connection that cost £600.000 by the time it came through the Council?

  12. Steve July 15, 2015 at 9:13 am

    Don’t it always seem to be, you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.
    They paved paradise and put up a parking lot
    (Joni Mitchell)

    • confused July 15, 2015 at 3:55 pm

      although i agree with the general sentiment, i would hardly call the old secondary school ‘paradise’, if anything, its already the parking lot…

    • kay banfield July 17, 2015 at 4:04 pm

      So you think another pile of buildings to take the place of the present monstrosity would be preferable to a car park.Surely with a parking area at Carn Thomas many more cars could be discouraged from parking around town all day. It could be laid out with some hedging and greenery as was supposed to be the case with the industrial site and never happened.

  13. Ray Wornes July 15, 2015 at 2:46 am

    From all that has already happened and is now being proposed, I cannot as a resident feel anything other than deeply depressed – rather than excited – about the future management of St Mary’s. Many of the policies now seem to be heading in the wrong direction and will damage the environment, public health, our finances and tourism. It’s time to stop and rethink the future and examine a number of this Council’s recent policy changes that look like damaging a fragile natural environment and tourism and asset stripping this community. What are your priorities Councillors? I’m convinced there are much better ways forward and a better vision for the future than what is being proposed by our Officers?

  14. Ray Wornes July 14, 2015 at 7:19 pm

    Why are we demolishing a potentially valuable building which could present a great opportunity to benefit the community in so many ways? Has anyone from the Council invited suggestions for its future use or are we only interested in supporting ‘developers’?

    • Linguine July 14, 2015 at 11:44 pm

      This is because common sense was one of the first casualties of reorganisation.

      • FooManChu July 22, 2015 at 11:30 am

        I do miss good old common sense!

  15. kay banfield July 14, 2015 at 4:59 pm

    With reference to the secondary school site. Once demolished would it not be an opportunity to solve the car parking problems in town and level it to use as a car park. What about a Hoppa bus running from there to the chemist and back for people carrying heavy items of shopping etc, could be charged for. Maybe a £1.00 round trip? It’s nice to see the main street free of vehicles but they’re just stacking up elsewhere and however much some people want a car free island it’s not going to happen.