Swanage Town Council has announced the sale of its 300 unit luxury caravan park and holiday complex to the Darwin Leisure Property Fund for a capital receipt of £7.25m. The deal includes revenue income of an annual ground rent of £30,000 for the life of the 105 year lease term.
Town Mayor, Mike Pratt says “This disposal means that we can take a positive stance in now addressing the town’s need for the benefit of current and future generations” before going on to say “the Town Council’s small administration team have been placed under incredible pressure over the past few years initially caused by the challenge by the Audit Commission who believe the Council does not have the legal powers to derive a direct income from caravan sales which is an integral part of owning a caravan park.”
On behalf of Darwin Victoria Brannen CIO, commented that “Darwin look forward to expanding their existing holiday park portfolio with the purchase of Swanage Bay View and implementing their business strategy, which will continue to operate and develop the park as a desirable holiday home location on the Dorset coast, whilst improving facilities that benefit not just the park owners but also members of the local community and support the town’s economy”.
Alan Leeson, Town Clerk and Financial Officer explains “by eliminating caravan sales from the Council’s activities we shall now be able to forecast future income with greater certainty. In order to keep the council tax precept to a minimum, the Council will now be considering its investment strategy in order to ensure that alternative sources of income are maximised”.
Both parties are now moving towards completion and handover on 15th October 2009.
(Swanage Town Council, Press Release, 4 September 2009)