Po­lice sta­tions earn their stripes as in­vest­ments

The Sunday Telegraph - Money & Business - - Business - By Sam Dean

HUN­DREDS of for­mer po­lice sta­tions have been sold off at bar­gain prices to prop­erty in­vestors and con­verted into homes and of­fices at great profit.

Forces across the coun­try have off­loaded more than 300 for­mer po­lice build­ings since the start of 2013, rais­ing at least £914m.

The build­ings, some of which are Vic­to­rian, have been turned into fam­ily homes, flats, of­fices, care homes, in­de­pen­dent schools, nurs­eries, restau­rants and vet­eri­nary clinics.

Many of them have been sold cheaply, ac­cord­ing to re­search ob­tained from Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion re­quests. Those in­clude the for­mer Wood­bridge sta­tion in Ip­swich which was sold for £1.1m, but is ex­pected to be worth £3.8m af­ter it has been con­verted into a block of flats. Many of the prop­er­ties have been bought at auc­tion, while oth­ers have been ac­quired by in­vestors on the open mar­ket.

“Non-stan­dard build­ings like for­mer po­lice sta­tions could prove a great op­por­tu­nity for in­vestors. Many were built to the very high stan­dards in the Vic­to­rian or Ed­war­dian eras and, gen­er­ally, the fab­ric of the build­ings has been re­ally well kept,” said Chris Bag­u­ley from To­gether, a spe­cial­ist fi­nance firm, which compiled the data. “These kinds of build­ings also tend to be in good lo­ca­tions, some close to ma­jor trans­port links and oth­ers at­tached to for­mer court houses and in cen­tral ar­eas of cities, towns and vil­lages across the UK.”

In 2014, the Metropoli­tan Po­lice sold its fa­mous New Scot­land Yard head­quar­ters to the Abu Dhabi Fi­nan­cial Group for £370m, which was £120m more than the ask­ing price.

Among the other build­ings sold off was a Grade Ii-listed prison in Der­byshire, which was built in 1848. The prop­erty was on the mar­ket for £500,000 and has since been con­verted into a prison-themed fam­ily home which in­cludes a jail door, barred win­dows and a gun room.

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