Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Hampshire police's unused Alpha Park HQ sold at a loss

Alpha Park Image copyright Other
Image caption The police-owned property at Alpha Park has been unused since it was bought in 2008

A building that has stood empty for more than five years after being bought as a new headquarters for Hampshire Constabulary has been sold at a loss.

Alpha Park near Eastleigh was bought for £9.6m in 2008 after the force's West Hill headquarters in Winchester was deemed not fit for purpose.

Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Hayes said it had become a "toxic asset".

Hampshire police said it would not confirm the sale price.

After purchasing the building, the force spent £1.8m on Alpha Park, but the estimated overall cost of refurbishing the site was £15.8m.

Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Hayes confirmed it had been sold "at a loss" compared to the purchase price.

'Toxic asset'

Mr Hayes said: "We never expected to get that money [the purchase price] back for it. At the time they paid over the market value for it.

"I needed to get rid of it, we don't want it - it's costing us money - it's a toxic asset.

"We've got the best price and have therefore decided to sell it.

"I'm pleased that we've got rid of it. It was a decision that was made all those years ago by another body so the best thing was to draw a line under it.

"In a time when things are difficult financially it's an opportunity to have a bit of flexibility."

The sale of Alpha Park comes as Hampshire police battles to save £54m by April 2015 due to government spending cuts.

Hampshire Police Federation chairman John Apter has branded the money spent on Alpha Park "disgraceful".

He called it a "soap opera" that had "gone on for far too long and cost the taxpayers of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight far too much money".

A police spokesman said: "An offer has been accepted - the sale is subject to the purchaser completing satisfactory site surveys.

"We are not in a position to release the sale price as this is confidential and we have a confidentiality clause within the contract preventing us from disclosing that price to any third party."

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