LETTERS: ‘I despair for the future of Skegness’: Reader’s view on sale of Pier Field

An artist's impression of the Premier Inn in Skegness. ANL-170926-150619001
An artist's impression of the Premier Inn in Skegness. ANL-170926-150619001

I note that the ratepayers of Skegness are now going to have to stump up a share of the drainage costs of the Skegness Pier Field site, being £49,000.

What an amazing situation that the efforts of the local councillors and their employees and professional advisers has apparently led to the site being sold and the sale price being agreed, contracts exchanged and the sale completed before this drainage matter was finalised and agreed by the vendor and buyer.

The Pier Field in Skegness. ANL-170926-150548001

The Pier Field in Skegness. ANL-170926-150548001

The original net sale price of £1million for the freehold site has now, in all practicality, been reduced by as near as 5% at a stroke ! As the negotiations regarding this shared drainage costs have been ongoing for several months it would be interesting to know, as a ratepayer in Skegness, the actual costs, legal and professional, to the council of these long and protracted negotiations regarding the drainage problem and conflict between the parties ? My guess is the costs to the council will be more than the actual £49,000 share of costs regarding building the drainage, and this cost once again will be borne by the Skegness ratepayers.

At a guesstimate I would think that the total true costs are well in advance of £100,000 if you include legality and professional fees.

More information is needed from the council and KCS Developments to really ascertain for ourselves as to what has actually happened, and the total cost to Skegness ratepayers. If the council and its professional advisers have done nothing wrong they must have no reason at all to not release all details as to how the whole sale of the above site was handled all the way through the different stages of exchange of contracts, and agreement regarding completion and actual completion of the sale of the freehold and exchange of monies and deeds of sale.

I do add that I believe the actual sale of the above prime foreshore land being approximately one acre in size for the freehold price of £1million was very low. To double that figure to nearer £2million may have reflected today’s market value on the land.

Perhaps the bowling greens and car parks plus the foreshore gardens south of the Embassy will be sold as time goes on, and probably at a low price as well ? Who knows? One thing is for certain, a Premier Inn Hotel on Skegness seafront will do nothing to help regenerate Skegness as a seaside town. Margate and other seaside towns have built theatres, art galleries and other meaningful developments, some in partnership with private enterprise to help enrich their local towns in a cultural way. A Premier Inn feeds off the footfall and people already coming to Skegness, and will lead to the closure of local hotels and result in no net extra employment in the town at all, but will result in yet another pub outlet when there are already certainly enough pubs in the town, and on the foreshore, to cope well with the demand, even in the peak season.

The local residents and business people can have the final say by refusing to vote for any of the councillors who agreed to sell the land, when they are next due for re-election.

The Premier Inn, big boxed shaped architecturally designed plain monstrosity, will be their lasting legacy, in the middle of what was a lovely open space. I despair for the future of Skegness.

Hugh Malkinson, St Andrews Drive, Skegness

* Email your letters for publication to chrissie.redford@jpress.co.uk