Clearly London Assembly Member Onkar Sahota is feeling a bit put upon having just issued this somewhat rambling and ill-judged statement:
Statement published in Ealing Labour:
Thank you to all those who have sent messages of support and solidarity. I bought this land at a public auction when I had no elected office for the expansion of my local GP practice. The reason we failed to build is due to the banking crisis and the mid-selling of complex financial products to the bank causing the practice to near bankruptcy. The matter was subject of expensive High Court proceedings until the FSA forced the banks to accept their fault. This case ended about 18 months go and it was about 15 months ago the Council approached me and have been dragging their feet about how much to offer. The last and current offer is 30% below market value. I ask the question, ” do you want to sell your house at 30% below market value ? ” If you do please let me know. The council has now agreed to meet my advisers after them asking for months how they valued the site. The council and Governing Body appear to have been working on school expansion plans since last May with which they are content and it is only now that the parents have seen the plans and some are upset. Given the election season, people think it is OK to pile on pressure on me and I recognise it as such. I will decide on the future of the land, as it is an assett of my practice , once my negotiations with the council have come to a final conclusion . I am giving priority to the council as I want to help the school but they no longer want it, I will consider all my options. For the record, I did not buy the site under the table from the council or funded it through any illegal means. I have always served the local community and worked for the NHS. Labour Party is a party of aspiration and opportunity. Labour Party members should be proud of the fact that the son of an aircraft cleaner became a doctor and had the social conscience to work only for the NHS or that a son of a bus conductor can become Mayor of London.
Putting to one side the grammar, spelling and admission of an ill-judged purchase of complex financial products two points stick out for me.
Firstly, he is still trying to make out that he is not the sole owner and sole decision maker in any decision to do with 42 Lower Boston Road contrary to evidence at Land Registry and Companies House. His description of the site as “an assett [sic] of my practice” is, once again, designed to deceive.
Secondly, and most importantly, Sahota is trying to get an extra 30% out of the council (£300-400K I would guess) in recognition of his “service to the local community” or something. The land is in use class D1, see below.
It’s market value is reduced due to its designation. Sahota has been out to the market before and not found another buyer who will give him his idea of what market value is and take their chances on getting a change of use. The market value he seeks depends on his councillor mates on the planning committee nodding that change of use through – once the St Mark’s School site has been butchered because Sahota would not sell the D1 land he bought at a D1 price.
He is arguing he needs to buy residential or commercial property to expand his business. Maybe he does but he owns D1 and there is no need for the council to give him the difference. His sense of entitlement beggars belief.