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Breckland Council agrees to sell Barnham Broom Golf Club

Breckland Council has agreed to sell a golf club it has owned for the last 16 years - without revealing how much it will be getting for it.
Barnham Broom golf club sale

Breckland Council’s cabinet agreed to sell the land and buildings at Barnham Broom Golf and Country Club to an undisclosed buyer.

The buyer had made an unsolicited offer to the council at the end of October, which the council’s most senior members discussed privately at a meeting on Monday, November 21.

Sam Chapman-Allen, the council’s Conservative leader, said the council was satisfied it was a “good offer”.

Labour opposition leader Terry Jermy disagreed, saying: “Residents should be in no doubt that this is a bad deal and it does not obtain, in my view, best value.”

He said the council’s report on the proposed sale had been “selective with what it releases to the public to minimise political damage whilst hiding behind commercial sensitivities for anything it may be embarrassed about.”

Earlier in the meeting, Mr Chapman-Allen had said that Breckland purchased the property in 2006 for two reasons. 

“One – to protect the local council taxpayers from the planned removal of accumulated held reserves by central government at the time,” he said.  

“And two – to produce an income yield capable of supporting our increased services for residents…” 

“In both respects the investment has proved effective. Barnham Broom has played a significant role in allowing us to keep our council tax low.” 

The council said it had originally bought the property for £7m, but this newspaper has previously reported that it then spent another £1.2m on taxes and a further £2m doing it up.

A council spokesman said he could not confirm those additional figures. 

In January, the council was understood to be trying to sell the property for just £2m, which would have represented an £8m loss for taxpayers on the initial purchase price and costs.

It is unclear at this stage if the details of the sale agreed this week will be published after the transaction has occurred, with the council’s report stating: “It is an express requirement of the offer that the terms of the sale remain confidential.” The council is currently appealing against a ruling from the Information Commissioner’s Office, which has been telling it to release details of private discussions about the golf club.

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