The owners have obviously been following the debate around the Hall very closely.This has been from reading this blog, the Beacon Action Group site and other comments.
Last night I received a lengthy and detailed statement that addresses the debate and I have been given the permission to post these extracts. I will post these without comment from myself and then you can debate it in the comments and they will read them.
This is detailed and I would advise you to read the comments in detail before replying.
Firstly I along with my colleagues are all local and have family members who live in the direct vicinity of the Hall
COSTS OF THE HALL AND ANY PROFITS
There is much speculation in regards to the “profits” which will be made from the development. I can assure you it is a far different story, we are in fact going to be out of pocket by a large number! You may find this hard to believe, so I will share some high level figures with you.
To redevelop/restore the Hall-land-lakes, the value agreed with English Heritage, their quantitative surveyors, our quantitative surveyors (and also Walsall Council’s quantitative surveyors), is an eye watering £16,200,000!!! This is not just me plucking a figure out of the air but has been confirmed independently by all three of the above QS’s.
The sales from the development/houses after build costs (again done by 3 quantitative surveyors), is £13,200,000. You may now question that you will be getting 10 high level “swanky pads” out of this. But the £13.2M figure includes us buying our own properties at FULL market value to help with the restoration.
So, once we have developed/restored the Hall-land-lakes we will need to put in another £3,000,000 from our pocket to complete the restoration. This figure does not include the security cost of £5,000 per month being paid for the last 18 months, professional fees and surveys fees of £250,000 to date (I expect that to increase yet), and the purchase price of £1,100,000 + stamp duty and legal fees!! Once done we will have put in around £5,000,000 to cover the deficit.
As you may be aware enabling development, under English Heritage rules, allows us to make a legitimate profit of 20% above the gross value of the restoration (£16.2M). It doesn’t take a genius to work out that we have fore gone the 20% profit as well as covering the deficit from our own pocket
ON THE LARGE CONFERENCE CENTRE
Now lets talk about the business itself, the banqueting/conference centre is a business proposal that we have come to after 18 months of deliberation, and consulting the wider public. As I am sure you are aware, the estate will incur considerable on going running costs, it was always a prerequisite of ours that any venture we start up at Great Barr Hall, had not only have to fund itself, but also the considerable ongoing costs of the estate. The reason for this was over the years, we have seen many good intention ventures fall by the wayside as these people have never considered how their good intentions will be funded on an ongoing basis. So putting that all into the equation, any profits that the Hall makes, and the revenue raised on a yearly basis from the 57 houses, would pay for the upkeep of the estate, because I am sure nobody wants the Hall to fall back into ruin in 5-10 years down the line.
ON BUILDING THE HOMES BUT NOT THE HALL
On most of the blogs out there, some people are saying that once we build the houses we will bankrupt the and run off with the money. Let me clarify two misconceptions, firstly any enabling development that takes place, English Heritage will be binding us to a legal agreement. Secondly, this whole development will have to be phased in line with the development of the Hall. So as you can see we cannot possibly run off with any money, if anything we will be putting money in from our own pocket throughout this whole venture.
If this was all about us making money, I am sure you would agree we could make quite a lot of money with our £5,000,000 without the aggravation. Likewise, if this was just about us getting a beautiful home, I could walk into Four Oaks and choose a beautiful house in a beautiful neighbourhood, with neighbours who would probably appreciate me a bit more as well.
You may ask what our motives behind this are, well the truth is we thought we were doing something worthwhile, for the benefit of the community, and be proud of our achievements for generations to come. If I am being honest with you, it seems we were naive and at times we do question why we are doing this. Especially as all the figures indicated, we should be building between 80 and 100 houses to cover the costs, but we were keen not to create another Bovis development.