Decision details

Disposal of Lindsay House, Epping

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Recommendations approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


To seek guidance on the marketing of two Council owned sites, namely:


(a)           Lindsay House; &


(b)           Pyrles Lane Nursery.


The Portfolio Holder for Asset Management & Economic Development presented a report on the disposal of Lindsay House in Epping.


The Portfolio Holder reported that the Abbeyfield Society (Epping) had surrendered their lease for Lindsay House, at 15 Lindsey Street in January 2014; the Council was the freehold owner of the property. Following further negotiation with the London Congregational Union (Incorporated) back in 1998, the covenant on the premises had been extended to allow use as a single private dwelling house or social housing accommodation for vulnerable people. Essex County Council had previously agreed to acquire the property for their use as part of the negotiations for the redevelopment of St John’s Road, Epping. However, it transpired that the County Council no longer wished to proceed as they did not have a service requirement anymore. The Council was now required to determine the future use of the building, which had been vacant for a number of years, and the basis of a marketing exercise for freehold disposal of the property was proposed for the Cabinet to agree.


The Portfolio Holder highlighted that recommendation 2 permitted the Council to consider bids from charitable organisations, and would not automatically lead to the acceptance of the highest bid. The Director of Neighbourhoods informed the Cabinet that the capital receipt would go to the General Fund, and the Portfolio Holder reminded the Cabinet that 1-4-1 receipts from the sale of Council houses could only be used to fund a maximum of 30% of the cost if Lindsay House was converted to provide social housing units.




(1)        That the previous decision of the Cabinet for the Council’s freehold interest in Lindsay House to be sold on the open market be reaffirmed;


(2)        That a marketing exercise, including an invitation to bid from those parties who have previously expressed an interest, be carried out inviting bids based on:


            (a)        sale as a single private dwelling house; or


            (b)        conversion to flats (with or without the restrictive covenant); and


(3)    That the Portfolio Holder be authorised:


            (a)        to consider the results of the marketing exercise and determine the basis on which the property is to be sold in light of the offers received, and in particular to consider if there would be financial benefit to the Council in             seeking to remove the covenant; and


            (b)        subject to (a) above, to approve the highest offer received for the     property with the covenant in place, or seek to remove the covenant.


Reasons for Decision:


To enable the Council to obtain best value from its property assets.


Other Options Considered and Rejected:


To retain the property and convert it to either general social housing or some alternative use. However, the building was not conducive to conversion for general social housing and no other operational use had been identified.

Report author: Derek Macnab

Publication date: 09/02/2017

Date of decision: 02/02/2017

Decided at meeting: 02/02/2017 - Cabinet

Effective from: 17/02/2017

Accompanying Documents: