The leaseholders of an Ipswich block with safety issues say there are "mixed views" over an offer to buy back leases, with some claiming the deal is “way below” the market value. 

Grey GR, the freeholder of Cardinal Lofts, offered to buy back the leases of 80 flats in the tower block on Foundry Lane. 

The freeholder’s spokesperson said that Grey GR has concluded an “extensive assessment” of Cardinal Lofts and gained an understanding of the scale of the issues caused by the original developers during the re-development. 

They added: “The issues at Cardinal Lofts are unique, and the exceptional nature of those issues means that Grey is now offering to buy-back leases from all leaseholders within the building, based on independent market valuations assuming no building safety issues are present.  

“We believe this is the fairest and most equitable solution for all.” 

Ipswich Star: Cardinal Lofts residents who were offered a deal to sell their leases say it's below market value, NewsquestCardinal Lofts residents who were offered a deal to sell their leases say it's below market value, Newsquest (Image: Newsquest)

A spokesperson for Cardinal Lofts leaseholders said they were left with "mixed emotions".

They added: “We have indeed received buy out offers from Grey GR and welcome the opportunity to be released from this crisis.  

“However, whilst some valuations appear to be fair and acceptable, there are many leaseholders that have received valuations believed to be way below the market value.  

“In fact, some leaseholders would be left with negative equity should those offers be accepted.  

“Grey assured us over the past few years that they were committed to remediating Cardinal Lofts, and on that basis, facing rising interest rates, many tied themselves into long-term mortgage deals.  

“Leaseholders could now be facing heavy early redemption penalties, but there has been no consideration for these costs to be covered at this stage.” 

The leaseholders said they will continue negotiations with the freeholder and hope to reach an acceptable solution for all in due course. 

On November 15, 2022, Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service issued a prohibition notice, which caused the evacuation of the residents of the top three floors of Cardinal Lofts. 

In February this year, remaining residents were asked to leave their homes as the building “is no longer safe for occupation”.