Rother District Council has acquired Glovers House for £7.4m this week as part of its property investment strategy.
A large commercial office space at the Bexhill Enterprise Park, Glovers House has been fully let as the head office of Park Holidays UK since construction was completed in December 2015.
The council’s acquisition of the property was confirmed by portfolio for finance Lord Ampthill at a meeting of the overview and scrutiny committee on Monday (April 29).
Cllr Lord Ampthill said: “The big news is what has happened today. Through the skills of our officers and negotiating team we have acquired Glovers House, which is fully occupied by Park Holidays and stands on the high ground overlooking the link road.
“We have acquired that for £7.4m and there is a rent applicable to that of £475,000 per annum, which reaches the bottom line at some £210,000 net.
“Vital money for the council to keep going in the way we would all wish.”
Lord Ampthill confirmed the property purchase, which he said had been finalised the same day as the meeting, during a wider discussion of Rother’s property investment strategy.
Committee members heard that the strategy sees the council borrow capital funding to buy properties for investment or development. These property purchases must provide some form of economic regeneration benefits within Rother however.
The council has also directed officers not to consider the purchase of retail properties, due to concerns around the stability of the sector.
In setting its annual budget in February, the council approved its capital programme up to 2022/23. This included spending of up to £35m within the property investment strategy.
Committee members heard that Glovers House is the fifth site to be acquired by the council as part of the investment programme.
Council papers list the four previous sites, all in Bexhill, as: 14 Terminus Road; 18 – 40 Beeching Road; 16 Beeching Road; and 1 – 7 Wainwright Road.
These four sites have a total value of £2.5m, council papers say.
The council papers also say the purchase of a sixth property has been approved but not completed. Details of the site are currently confidential as they are considered to be commercially sensitive.
While the details of any purchases are negotiated by council officers, all final decisions are taken by councillors appointed to Rother’s Property Investment Panel (PIP).
The council says it is looking into acquiring an undisclosed number of other properties, but confirms seven sites are currently either undergoing negotiations or due diligence before consideration by the PIP.