Tax payers to cash in on housing boom

TAX payers can look forward to a share of the profits made by the new multi-million pound Felixstowe development.Council chiefs revealed today that they have struck a profit-sharing deal with developers Bloor Homes over the housing and tourism scheme at Felixstowe.

TAX payers can look forward to a share of the profits made by the new multi-million pound Felixstowe development.

Council chiefs revealed today that they have struck a profit-sharing deal with developers Bloor Homes over the housing and tourism scheme at Felixstowe.

And if the housing market remains buoyant, Suffolk Coastal Council could be quids-in.

Campaigners earlier accused the ruling Conservatives of "selling the family silver" by giving away the resort's 17-acre south seafront site for the project.

They calculated the 189 homes built for sale could net a profit of £30 million if the properties went for an average of £200,000 each.

But Suffolk Coastal did not disclose until now that arrangements would include a share of the profits if Bloor make certain sums of money.

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A council spokesman said Bloor had agreed as part of the proposed development to fund the costs of the new leisure and other recreational facilities.

The authority's consultants, backed up by senior legal opinion, confirmed that the council has got a good deal for its residents.

A spokesman said: "The council has taken the opportunity provided by the buoyant housing market to secure, in addition to the deal, an agreement that some of the additional profits that may be generated by the sale of houses will be passed to the council.

"This would be used to fund additional works in the development area, such as the Martello Tower, an improved facility for Coastwatch and additional play facilities."

Councillor David Smith, cabinet lead member of the project, has agreed the final basis about the way in which the profit-sharing arrangement will be calculated following detailed negotiations.

The council spokesman said: "It is impossible to accurately second-guess the housing market, but if it continued to grow at current rates then Suffolk Coastal will benefit significantly from this profit-share arrangement even after the inclusion of the houses for rent in the calculation resulting from this decision."

Bloor is expected to submit its planning application for the development – which will also include an ampitheatre, beach café, pub-restaurant, gardens and play areas, wooden galleon, and car parks – in the next few weeks.

Christine Block, chairman of the finance and management review committee, was given information about the profit-sharing deal, with the opportunity to make comments and raise issues, a week before Mr Smith made his decision.

Liberal Democrats are currently considering the situation, which some view as a major departure from the original deal with the developers.

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