When the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) first embarked on flogging off mothballed police stations there were concerns that the buildings would get snapped up by developers for bargain basement prices.
Not everyone trusted Deputy Mayor for Policing Stephen Greenhalgh to extract maximum value, despite him setting out some tough conditions which effectively ruled out accepting bids which were conditional on the granting of planning consent by local councils.
But Greenhalgh’s detractors might have to offer up a word of apology – a list of approved disposals suggests developers are having to pay a high price to snap up these scarce sites.
Of 12 properties sold since April, just two went for under £1m while four each brought in between £3.2m and £3.4m. Even more impressively, St John’s Wood Police Station went for a wallet-busting £8.5m.
Both the receipts from the sales and the resultant savings in property maintenance and running costs are promised to be ploughed back into frontline policing.
Yet despite the apparent success of its disposals strategy, MOPAC has declined the opportunity to crow – a spokesperson says they aren’t commenting for now but will say something “in due course about the sale of all the stations”.