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Downham Market Town Council votes to sell office building on Paradise Road

Councillors have agreed to sell their current town centre office building - but only after a debate about whether it was in their best interests.

At its full meeting last week, Downham Town Council voted to sell off its premises on Paradise Road, preparing to move into another building on the same street.

Cllr Daniel Jordan, a member of the council’s property committee, said the money generated from a sale - expected to be around £20,000 - will be put back into a capital expenditure project.

Downham Town Council has voted to sell its current office building on Paradise Road. Picture: Google Maps
Downham Town Council has voted to sell its current office building on Paradise Road. Picture: Google Maps

This could involve improvements to a 3G sports pitch or car park.

Some fellow members backed the sale, but others voiced their belief that the council should be striving to keep hold of its assets.

The possibility of renting the building out was also touted. However, problems with having to split it into smaller sections to do so led to concerns about that idea.

On the council offices being sold, Cllr Jordan said: “If we don’t do anything with it, it is going to cause us an issue in regards that it is going to become redundant.”

He told councillors that if it was not sold, the building could become vulnerable to break-ins or fly-tipping offences.

Cllr Jacqueline Westrop described the town council as “asset rich and income poor”, and added: “The thought of actually having another building which we would be committed to maintaining doesn’t bear thinking about too much.”

Meanwhile, Cllr Anna Incorvaia said that renting the building out would cause “multiple things to deal with”, and supported the sale.

However, Cllr Frank Daymond said: “I don’t believe we should get rid of any assets, because once they are gone they are gone.”

Cllr Stephen Moyses added: “I have to say I am very surprised that any of you councillors here tonight would want to sell an asset to this town.

“It has got a value to be rented out.”

Cllr Moyses said he believes the £20,000 fetching price to be “a bit low”, and suggested starting an advertising campaign to see how much cash could be raised from renting the building out.

Despite some calls for more investigations to be carried out before any vote, one was held at the meeting. The motion to sell the building was passed, even though five councillors voting against it.

Cllr Westrop added: “I think actually it is a building that has had its time, and we as a council have got to move on from it before it costs us too much money, basically.”

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