Two bids for former hostel

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COUNCILLORS will next week decide on the future of a former hostel in Alma Square.

The decision over the sale of the property will be taken by members of Scarborough Council’s Cabinet on Tuesday.

In a report by Nicholas Edwards, the council’s head of finance and asset management, has revealed that the authority has received two unconditional bids for the property after it was advertised in the local press.

And members of the Cabinet will consider the two bids behind closed doors because they will be discussing sensitive financial information relating to the two bids.

In his report Mr Edwards said: “This report seeks Cabinet approval for the freehold disposal of this property comprising land and buildings at 6 and 7 Alma Square to the highest bidder.

“It is the purchaser’s intention to seek planning permission for the conversion of the property into residential use for apartments. The sale is not subject to that planning permission being forthcoming.”

He added that if the sale was not agreed the council would be left with the responsibility for the ongoing maintenance and security for the property.

The building in Alma Square was used as a hostel until 2009 and is being sold with two covenants dating back to the mid-19th Century which restrict its use as either a hotel or for residential use.

Mr Edwards said: “The property currently produces no income for the council and a significant level of capital investment would be required to bring the premises back into use to a minimum standard that meets the council’s/Registered Social Landlord’s requirements.”

In a council report from December, called Temporary Accommodation for the Homeless, it was reported that it would cost around £410,000 to bring the property back into use to meet the minimum standards.

When the property was advertised as part of the tendering process there were four viewings.

It is understood that the property could be sold within two months of an approval to sell being agreed.