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THE GREAT SALFORD COUNCIL HOUSING HEIST PART TWO
 

Star date: May 31st 2012

THE HIGHER BROUGHTON HOUSE PRICE HORROR STORY
How Salford Council Duped and Destroyed A Community – Part 2

Those in the Top Streets of Higher Broughton who had their homes forcibly taken off them by Salford Council never got the true value. Up to £44,000 less than they were worth, we believe.

Now for the first time, the Salford Star has produced a graph which shows, we think, the tens of thousands of pounds difference between what house owners should have got and what they were actually paid.

Full story here…


HIGHER BROUGHTON TOP STREETS SALFORD Salford Top Streets House Price Graph
click image to enlarge

In Part 1, the Salford Star looked at how Salford Council stated that it couldn't refurbish 23 houses in the Top Streets of Higher Broughton, as it was not `economically viable'. A figure of `up to £130,000 per property' was quoted in letters to residents. Following a High Court ruling, six large houses on Devonshire Street were saved – the cost of refurbishing? Not £130,000 but an average of £58,333 each. See Part 1 – click here

PART TWO: THE HIGHER BROUGHTON HOUSE PRICE HORROR STORY!

Four years ago, in Issue 7 of the printed Salford Star, we interviewed John Merry, the now former Leader of Salford City Council, about the prices the Council was offering people whose homes were being taken off them as part of the `regeneration'.

In Seedley, at the time, the Council was making offers of around £52,000 for houses it wanted to demolish, when similar houses across the road that were staying up were selling for between £90,000 and £100,000. The Audit Commission had also just produced a report that showed, nationally, councils were offering people £35,000 less than the market value of their homes.

"If that's the case and people are not getting the proper price I'd be extremely concerned" said John Merry "because by law we are supposed to offer what is the market value of the property…"

Now for the first time, Salford Star statisticians have compared the house prices people actually received from Salford Council in the Top Streets of Higher Broughton and what the market value of those houses should have been. The difference is vast – in one case over £40,000.

We've even produced, at great expense, a professional looking graph so Salford people can chart for themselves the huge differences.

The bottom graph line shows the real amounts people were paid for their houses in the Top Streets between 2005-7. While Salford Council is reluctant to reveal the prices it's paid, these figures have been taken from popular house price websites and what people who lived there have actually told us. We've got the sale price and converted it into price per square metres, as that's how valuers like to work.

The top line shows what the market value should have been, based on Land Tribunal rulings on 2005 and 2007 prices, when the Council was found to have undervalued properties*

We then took three examples (shown in red) and converted them back into full prices, rather than price per square metre. The first is from February 2005, where, based on our figures, a Top Streets house owner actually received £19,250 from the Council, when the true worth was around £48,000. The second case is from September 2006, when the house owner received £27,000 when the true worth was around £72,000. And the third case is from September 2007 when the house owner received £56,000, when the true worth was around £96,000 – a whopping £44,000 difference.

We can only work out these figures for Higher Broughton because these are the only two cases that we know of where people have taken the Council to a Land Tribunal as part of a Compulsory Purchase programme. If our figures are accurate – and we're pretty sure they are – home owners in the Top Streets who had their houses forcibly take off them by Salford Council lost out sums of between £25,000 and £44,000.

Yet, by law, Salford Council has to pay market value. So why didn't it? Is the Council going to compensate homeowners who lost out? And is Mr Ian Stewart Mayor going to hold a Public Inquiry? We won't hold our breath…

See also previous Salford Star articles on the Top Streets of Higher Broughton...

* The Assassination of a Community - click here

* Insane Salford Council Demolition Disgrace - click here


 

* Based on two rulings (case numbers ACQ352/2008 and ACQ409/2009) when it was found that houses being bought by the Council for demolition should have had the same value as retained houses (see here).

After the case (ACQ352/2008) concerning 2005, houses in the Top Streets should have been valued at £613 per sq metre, whereas actual figures we've seen from that time show that the Council was paying around £300 per sq metre.

In his summing up of the second case (ACQ409/2009), the judge PR Francis said that, in 2006-7, prices regularly exceeded £100,000 and averaged about £125,000, or roughly £1200 per sq metre. The peak of the housing market was September 2007.

Silence from Merry wrote
at 10:44:22 AM on Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Still no comment from former council leader and local councillor John Merry yet. Come on John-I know you are an avid reader of the Salfordstar.
 
ripped off wrote
at 5:13:00 AM on Saturday, October 25, 2014
Re John Merry's comment "If that's the case and people are not getting the proper price I'd be extremely concerned" said John Merry "because by law we are supposed to offer what is the market value of the property…" What has Merry done to rectify this eh?
 
Phil W. wrote
at 11:44:03 PM on Sunday, June 17, 2012
I cannot see any of the local councillors getting involved in this as they were aware of what was going on all along. They did not work for the people, rather the developers. It stinks.
 
Michael Felse wrote
at 1:55:58 AM on Thursday, June 14, 2012
Another new word for our inventive Mayor should be "Salfaffordian" to mean Salford Council must never take away a native families home unless the Council can afford to pay that Salford family a best going rate for their property. Anything less than the correct value should be against a Community Code of Conduct with those Councillors that made any wrong acquisition price decision becoming surcharged to make good any shortfall. This to be retrospective over the last 15 years. If Salford's Councillors believe they have acted in the best interests of displaced Salfordians then let them be honest and open by accepting the "Salfaffordian Community Code of Conduct".
 
Tahira Chakotai wrote
at 10:37:09 PM on Tuesday, June 12, 2012
This is just another example of the under handed tactics of the Salford Council. I think it is fair to say that the motto of The Salford Council should be ,"Buy Cheap", "Sell Expensive", "And sod any tenant that get in the way". It all comes down to the same problem in Salford. Unlike other cities I have resided in, Salford has very little of the community spirit left. Before any action can be taken, all of the Salford tenants need to unite, and say "No More" to The Salford Council. Only when every voice is heard, will the Salford Council have to change their ways. Only then, will there be a government investigation. In conclusion, all I can say, to all of the Salford Tenants, is, "what are you waiting for?", "instead of typing words on this site", "complaining how bad things are", "start typing a complaint to The Salford Council". "Because sooner, or later, it could be you that is C.P.O'd". Lets hope the Salford Star, can facilitate change, and inspire all of it's Salfordian Readers, into doing something more constructive, thus saving future communities, from the underhanded dealings, of the Salford Council.
 
Reg Hall wrote
at 1:35:31 AM on Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Well said , Mike Felse . I'll second that . This very unhealthy mess must be thoroughly investigated . Time for Stewart to take action , instead of making words up .
 
Michael Felse wrote
at 9:36:00 AM on Monday, June 11, 2012
I urge the Salford Conservative leader Karen Garrido to refer this matter to Eric Pickles forthwith as I know others who had their family homes taken away by Salford Council but now Salford Star has printed this important information it must mean the question of a fair compensation in Salford is thrown into doubt. I urge the Salford Star to call Karen into looking at this because of her getting the second highest votes in the Salford Mayoral. I will add my supporters to having this matter being referred to The Minister.
 
G.Griffiths wrote
at 6:44:14 AM on Sunday, June 10, 2012
Den---the professional firms did not do a good job at all for residents. Remember that most people picked someone from a list the council supplied (a bit like a turkey voting for Christmas!) The only person in the "bottom Streets" who went to a land tribunal was my brother. The ruling on that case and the tribunal comments set what should have been the correct values for "top Streets" from 2005. I was the only person from the "top Streets" to go to a land tribunal. I did not agree with the ruling but it was more money than the council offered. The trouble is that people did not stick together and fight. You have 2 land tribunal rulings/findings about the value of houses in "top Streets" and it is up to the former homeowners to fight for the true value. As John Merry has previously stated that the council "Cannot legally pay more or less than market value" and they have very obviously undervalued the properties, then you need to bring this to the attention of councillors, MP's and the media.
 
H.H. wrote
at 6:43:20 AM on Sunday, June 10, 2012
This entire housing scandal exudes fraud , and Stewart must instigate an immediate investigation . If Stewart , with his 'Era of Openess' refuses ,he must resign as incompetent , and Pickles must investigate this . People appear to have deliberatety and systematically ripped-off , and that is criminal .
 
DEN ex Cardiff Street Resident wrote
at 5:37:08 AM on Sunday, June 10, 2012
What of the professional firms who canvassed the residents of the "top streets" offering to negotiate property valuations with the Council "for free" on their behalf (meaning they were guaranteed a fee for the work from the Council)? They do not appear to have done a very good job. Also, by substantially under-valuing the properties the Council will have defrayed much (possibly all, maybe several times over) of the finance they were obliged to provide to residents in terms of relocation grants and disturbance allowances etc.
 
T+O? wrote
at 2:43:03 PM on Friday, June 8, 2012
Having read parts 1 and 2 can I see any TRANSPARENCY AND OPENESS?
 
Baz. M wrote
at 10:40:57 PM on Thursday, May 31, 2012
Surely this must be brought to the attention of somebody in power? It seems that something very wrong has happened here and there should be an investigation and action taken.
 
Justice Thumbs wrote
at 3:53:45 PM on Thursday, May 31, 2012
Undervaluation of property in this manner is fraud . I hope all involved in this fraud are prosecuted and jailed . They should also be ordered to personally compensate those who they robbed . No excuses .
 
Not Impressed wrote
at 7:59:51 AM on Thursday, May 31, 2012
Mayor Greedy must hold an urgent Public Inqiry into this , if he is to have any credibilty . The law appears to have been broken , homeowners appear to have been cheated. His CEO , Spicer is ultimately responsible if the law has been broken , and must be sacked . And no taxpayer-funded 'Golden Goodbye'. Nothing . She's milked the taxpayer enough. All involved in this disgraceful farce must be sacked . Sort it , Stewart . Time to show them who's boss . Let there be no whitewash at the Madhouse .
 
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