11:27AM, Thursday 19 April 2018
‘Astonished’ residents have demanded answers from the Royal Borough after it bought a property for more than double its market value in preparation for the Maidenhead Golf Course redevelopment.
The bungalow in Rushington Avenue was listed for sale at £649,950 in August 2017, but the council purchased it for £1.5million in February 2018.
The officer decision notice of the purchase confirms that it was bought as part of proposals to build more than 2,000 homes on the adjacent Maidenhead Golf Course.
In a letter to the Advertiser, Rushington Avenue resident John Hudson said the move ‘defies all logic and understanding’. He said: “How this sum, paid with taxpayers’ money can possibly be justified, defies all logic and understanding. This behaviour by the council is absolutely outrageous, and perhaps a senior official would like to explain the justification for this reckless and profligate expenditure of public money?”
Another Rushington Avenue resident, John Stansfield, also wrote in to say: “I am astonished the council can throw around such huge sums when finances are supposedly stretched. Is this expenditure not worthy of investigation?”
Maidenhead resident Michael Cranham added: “This is a very sinister situation.”
The property, 2 Rushington Avenue, backs onto the golf course.
At a meeting in October, the council agreed to set aside £20million for acquiring properties to access the site and finding a development partner.
The budget allows for £10million in 2018/19 and £10million in 2019/20.
The redevelopment itself is yet to be officially approved, with the council due to decide on a joint development partner later this year.
A spokesman for the council told the Advertiser: “The Royal Borough acquired the
property during a routine sale after being contacted by the owner.
“As approved at full council in October 2017 the Royal Borough is acquiring sites to allow access to the proposed redevelopment of Maidenhead Golf Club.”
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