'Someone’s been robbed' - police station appears on auction site for double price (From Watford Observer)
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Bushey Police Station appears on auction site for double original selling price
Bushey Police Station which was sold last year has been listed on an auction site for double the price it was sold for, leading a councillor to say "someone's been robbed".
The 128-year-old disused police station in Sparrows Herne became unfit for purpose and financial pressures on the force led to its closure in 2011 - when Country Group Ltd purchased the building for £440,000.
The station has now appeared on an auction site with the guide price of £800,000 - £900,000.
Bushey North councillor Leslie Winters said the property obviously was not marketed correctly.
He said: "This is unbelievable. I realise the price would have gone up with the planning permission that has since been gained, but nowhere near that much.
"The police obviously didn’t wait for the best price. Someone’s been robbed. The valuation was appalling."
Planning permission was granted by Hertsmere Borough Council in November to convert the grade II listed building into three two-bedroom self contained flats and a two story detached three-bedroom house.
The permission, which is valid for three years, includes providing a private garden and the maisonettes could have two areas of communal amenity space.
Hertfordshire constabulary said in a statement: "In order to obtain best value from the disposal of this Grade II listed property it was sold by informal tender in early 2012, this resulted in nine offers for the site.
"This was the second time the site was marketed; the first marketing exercise resulted in one bid being received which was significantly below the bid ultimately accepted.
"We can confirm that the highest unconditional bid was accepted in the sum of £440,000. In the opinion of our agents and the (then) Police Authority, this highest unconditional offer represented best value for the Authority on the basis it was the highest unconditional bid and they would move to an early exchange of contracts.
"We believe that the alternative planning use obtained in December 2013 by the current owners through the planning process, combined with the increasing land and property prices will have resulted in the auction price stated."
The move in Bushey was heavily criticised by residents and councillors at the time, over fears the village would be left without a visible police force.
The station can be found on Allsop’s website at: http://www.auction.co.uk/residential/LotDetails.asp?A=875&MP=24&ID=875000054&S=L&O=A
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