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SALFORD TESCO DEAL IN TATTERS
 

Star date: 21st December 2010 

SALFORD COUNCIL UNDERVALUED TESCO LAND BY £10MILLION!

Salford City Council's sale of land for the new Tesco megastore near Salford Precinct was dramatically put on hold today amid revelations that the land was undervalued by `at least £10million'.

Under threat of legal action by Salford Shopping City owners, Salford Estates, the Council has now made a voluntary undertaking not to complete the sale to Tesco while it reviews its position.

Full story here…


It was less than two months ago that Salford Council gave planning permission for the new controversial Tesco megastore by Salford Precinct, despite petitions from shoppers and stall holders against the plans (click here for details).

It was later revealed that Salford Council had secretly received a payment from Tesco for £4million two years before the planning meeting (click here for details).

Straight after the Planning meeting which gave permission for the Tesco store, Chris Beckerman from Salford Shopping City owners Salford Estates, said "this is just one battle and the war is continuing…" 

Now we know the next stage of that war, as Salford Estates today put out a press release stating that Salford Council's "secretive deal with Tesco has short-changed taxpayers by at least £10 million".

It continues… "Council Leader John Merry recently confirmed that the Tesco deal would net £16 million from the deal, when independent valuations have since put the value at between £26 and £33 million."

Salford Estates, with this knowledge, threatened an injunction as part of a legal challenge to the land deal, and now, according to the press release, Salford Council has made "a humiliating back-down" and "made a voluntary undertaking not to complete the sale to Tesco whilst it obtains further valuation evidence and reviews its position".

A spokesman for Salford Estates added "Through our ongoing legal action we are determined to show that local people have been short-changed by tens of millions of pounds and that a better scheme can be delivered. 

"From start to finish the way the Council has gone about this is very peculiar and the people of Salford deserve the reassurance that their decision makers are acting in their best interests."

Stop Press: 4:30pm 21st December 2010

John Merry, Leader of Salford Council, has just responded...

“It is certainly not the case that the sale of this land to Tesco is in tatters" he says "The owners of Salford Shopping City have made allegations that the City Council is not receiving market value for the site through the sale to Tesco and have notified us of their intentions to seek a judicial review. We disagree with their view and have therefore commissioned an independent valuation of the site to determine the market value.
 
“Salford Estates know that it is not our intention to complete the sale to Tesco before the end of January 2011. However this will not affect the proposed timetable as this always meant the sale would complete later in the year, to ensure the terms of the contract have been met.”

Graphic by Gareth Lyons

John R Jones wrote
at 15:00:03 on 07 July 2011
On Friday 24th June I was in the Hayward’s Heath area of Sussex taking a break away from Lancashire and only had one note in my wallet - a £20. I went to Superdrug and spent £6.67 which left me with £13.33. This comprised a £10 note and some change. I then went into Tesco to purchase some items and the total came to £5.29. Normally when the amount is a little over a multiple of £5 I normally add a bit more to make change easier, which is what I did here and so I gave £10.30 expecting £5.01 in change. Unfortunately, I was given 1p change, and this caught me unprepared. I took this matter up with the manager, put in a formal complaint by letter but haven’t heard anything yet. How many customers are short-changed and are unaware of it? I have a rubber stamp with “Don’t Let TESCO Short-Change YOU” which I stamp on envelopes, notes and whatever I can to make the public more aware of short-changing by Tesco (and other supermarkets).
 
Nachtschlepper wrote
at 20:05:52 on 02 January 2011
Hey Daffy, it's better than to be thought an idiot & keep your gob shut than it is to open it & remove all doubt.
 
Daffy Duck wrote
at 10:38:20 on 01 January 2011
mags a load of bonkets and cannot get it facts right dare u publish no but u will about oyrhers love and attitude my arse defo attitude , well off to the loony land where this came from
 
G.Griffiths wrote
at 20:58:24 on 30 December 2010
I suggest that an independent valuer is called in or the matter goes to a Lands tribunal. Salford council undervalued my brother,s house by 243%. If you look at my previous comment you will see that they under valued "Top Streets" properties by around £40,000 to £60,000, which was around the 100-150% mark. Councillor Merry, or anyone at the council have still not answered my email about that. THe whole regeneration thing is about ripping people off so big business can come in and make bigger profits. It doesn,t matter who it is in the end, it,s about who is getting ripped off.
 
tescometroshopper wrote
at 14:26:29 on 30 December 2010
Salford Estates says its worth £26-33m, so it must be true! My @r$£!!!!! I wouldn't normally side with Cllr Merry but he's right this time.... As I've posted before, Salford Estates is a puppet vehicle for an overseas (tax-dodge) property investment company who's ulterior motive is to purchase the land themselves and build a big superstore on the plot themselves. All the crap they've been spouting is to stop Tesco so they can carry out EXACTLY THE SAME PLAN AND PROFIT FROM IT. Do you really think that a company based overseas to avoid paying tax, that has plans to build its own MASSIVE superstore on the site cares one iota for Salford, its taxpayers or the current employees of Salford Shopping City?
 
So long Marianne wrote
at 12:06:09 on 23 December 2010
Once upon a time there was a poor little council leader called John Merry, his hero Stephen Broomhead does a deal with Tescoes as leader of Warrington Borough Council to build a superstore and a rugby league club and he ends up with both and now is Chairman of Warrington Wolves picking up trophies at Wembley. Poor John wishes he could be just like Stephen," please fairy godmother how can i be just like Stephen i run a council aswell, why cant i go to Wembley2 The fairy godmother knows that the bad guys from Salford Star are in poor Johns way so she arranes for their funding to be strangled so as John can get his wish. Yes thought poor little John, if the wicked Star disappear then maybe I can be just like Stephen so i will refuse them funding and hey presto I am free, i am free. What poor little John forgot was that the people of Salford dont like bullies and their only protector wasnt little John who they have paid to protect them but the Salford Star who are their friend. Bah humbug cried little John "it looks like my only chance now to be like Stephen is to befrind Peel Holdings".
 
there goes my bonus ...... :-( wrote
at 10:43:43 on 22 December 2010
I ask on the behalf of Councillor John Merry... do Waitrose sell a good variety apples ?
 
Mr Grumpy wrote
at 10:43:38 on 22 December 2010
Why would tesco want to invest in a place like salford anyway seems to me the council did a good job in getting the money it did 10 Million i would not even give 10 pence for it. Any retailer coming to that part of Salford will need to factor in loses from shoplifters and robberies against profits. Thats why they had to move the docks out of Salford internationally known as the home of vagabonds thieves and whiners second only to Liverpool
 
David Henry wrote
at 04:52:18 on 22 December 2010
Now's a good time to give Waitrose a call John!
 
G.Griffiths wrote
at 21:33:12 on 21 December 2010
Salford council have previously stated that they cannot "legally buy or sell property (and I assume land) for more or less than market value". I have recently sent emails to councillor Merry asking whether the council is now going to pay "market value" for properties they bought in the top and bottom streets in the Wiltshire street area. Some of these people have been underpaid by £50,000. I am sure that it will come as no surprise to Salford star readers that I have not yet had a reply even though the emails were sent over a month ago. Salford star has copies of the emails. Let,s see how this pans out. Rattle out of the pram again mr Merry?
 
there goes my bonus ...... :-( wrote wrote
at 21:32:37 on 21 December 2010
This is a very sharp article and seems to have pierced right through the thick skin of the Salford Leper colony. Never....... Really Salford Council doesn't sell property to land developers @ bargain basement prices does it ? Salford Council doesn't evict people from their own homes for amounts of money that will not even repay their mortgage ? Salford Council does seem very capable of selling land and watering the flowers outside the 'Civic centre' but the current purposeful neglect of certain parts of salford is absolutely disgraceful. Pretty much akin to the Bronx area of New York.Ibid the words of New York Public Advocate Bill de Blasio http://pubadvocate.nyc.gov/ "The landlord is clearly trying to change the nature of the development and make it more appealing to upper-income tenants," and "This may be a landlord who purposely wants to reduce the level of service to encourage... tenants to leave." How pathetic Councillor John ["I don't get involved in individual cases"] Warmisham when he talks about the loss of £1.5M on the tower blocks sold to delusional god's builder Chek Whyte for ten pence http://cllrwarmisham.blogspot.com/2009/07/chek-whyte-thirty-million-pound-debt.html ...so that's got nothing to do with decisions made by Salford Council ? Lets play 'The Price is Right' How about The Large building at the centre of Buille Hill Park the former Lancashire mining Museum was/is that building worth £4 Million 10p £250,000 £1 Million or £2 Million (Salford Council Sold this buiding for the bargain basement price of £250,000) Happy Christmas but hey safety first; do be careful not to get that whole Turkey stuck in your throat, and be careful where you spit out the bones.
 
Salford Star wrote
at 16:36:52 on 21 December 2010
See John Merry comment below... Spelling, please! `Independant'? There's way too much Christmas cheer going down here...
 
John Merry wrote
at 16:33:06 on 21 December 2010
Those "inderpendant" valuations were obtained by Monte Carlo sorry Salford Estates we dont believe them especially as Salford Estates are not offering to buy the land for that price. Merry Xmas
 
there goes my bonus ...... :-( wrote
at 14:53:26 on 21 December 2010
Well done Salford Star for anlysing this news and bringing it to the attention of Salford. There are so many white Elephants in salford that this is like; "...How do you hide an elephant in the middle of 5th avenue? Answer: In a parade of elephants..." I wonder where that £10Million would have ended up? Maybe the Clubcard Scheme of Tesco and some sort of error that by coincidence ended up with certain councillors having a discrepancy of having additonal clubcard points. "Every little helps" LoL http://politicalhackuk.blogspot.com/2010/11/every-little-helps.html
 
Salford Star wrote
at 14:53:20 on 21 December 2010
See John Merry's comment below... But are the essential facts wrong, Mr Merry? Were the independent valuations faked? We think not. And we're still waiting for an official Council comment which will go up on the article. We also think you are being a little bit touchy - given that Salford Council hasn't sent a press release to the Salford Star for about a year - and, indeed, completely avoids answering many of our questions. We could go on all night about Salford Council's idea of `press relations' but let's not eh - it is the season of goodwill after all - with love and attitude xxx Until tomorrow...
 
John Merry wrote
at 14:39:45 on 21 December 2010
I do not normally comment on this site as you know but this is a complete and utter distortion of the truth . Far from weakening our case we are preparing a defence but thought it a good idea to strengthen our case by obtaining an up to date valuation . I suspect that if this was a council press release rather than one from a company directed from Monte Carlo it would not have been regurgitated quite so uncriticaly.
 
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