The meeting was advised that Foy House was currently owned by Orbit Homes which up until February 2019, was their Head Office in Margate. Orbit Homes established a new smaller office on the industrial estate in Margate, which presented a need to exit from Foy House.
The proposed purchase of Foy House would provide much needed affordable housing in the district, in particular accommodation for homeless households. In February 2019, Orbit applied and were successful in achieving a Change of Use from office to residential for eight 1 & 2 bed flats.
An independent valuation had been undertaken to ensure value for money and the Council had made an offer of £500,000. This was well within the market value range of between £620,000 to £600,000 for a residential use.
To enable the purchase, a £1.63m capital scheme for Homelessness Accommodation was approved by the Council in February 2019 as part of the 2019/20 capital programme. It was proposed to use this for the acquisition, design and build. Subject to further detailed design and any required planning approvals, the conversion could commence in early 2020.
Councillor Albon spoke under Council Procedure 20.1
Councillor Game proposed, Councillor Ashbee seconded and Cabinet agreed the purchase of Foy House, a vacant office building formerly owned by Orbit Housing.