Bexhill business leaders have reacted with frustration to the sale of the scout building for a quarter of a million pounds two weeks ago.
The Bexhill 2nd Scouts sold their home on Buckhurst Road on June 18 for £252,000 at auction and, according to the Bexhill Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, will be most likely knocked down and replaced with flats.
The Rother Voluntary Action building was also sold recently, which is home to the Citizens Advice Bureau, seemingly to the same person who bought the Scouts’ headquarters.
The chamber feel that the building should have been kept in the community and used as a centre of education and recreation for children and young adults.
When they heard about the sale, two weeks before the auction, the chamber tried to make a counter-offer to buy the building from the Scouts but they were unsuccessful.
Communications officer for the Bexhill chamber Howard Martin said: “ While we welcome investment in Bexhill, this was such an iconic building right in the heart of the town that we felt that it would serve the community better as an educational and training hub rather than a block of luxury flats.
“We moved quickly to put in an offer from the private sector that would have kept the building as an asset for the community of Bexhill but this offer was rejected.
“However we are still looking at various other options in the heart of the town to bring an innovative educational facility to the town.
Mr Martin said he wished the Scouts had told the council before decideding to sell the building privately.
“Unlike other towns in the area, Bexhill doesn’t have the infrastructure that makes sure that people like ourselves are aware when buildings such as the Scout centre become available for sale so that we can get ahead of the negotiations without having to compete with big business, land bankers and property speculators.
“We fully understand the need for the Scouts, who are a charity, to maximise their cashflow from the sale of assets however we do wish we had been given a little longer than two weeks to put together a deal that would have met all our needs.”
The Scouts were unavailable for comment.
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