Hampshire police chief Simon Hayes today refused to reveal how much Alpha Park, the controversial new base, had been sold for.
As reported in the Daily Echo earlier this week, the sale of the offices in Chandler's Ford was going through with an unnamed purchaser.
The site was bought in 2008 for £9.6m before the recession.
Today Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Hayes told the Police and Crime Panel: “We have accepted an offer. I have signed my part. The potential purchaser has signed theirs. We have exchanged and are waiting for surveys to be completed. It should be completed in two-to-three weeks.”
Mr Hayes added: “We have sold for less than the police authority purchased it for. That is not new news either. I talked about this when I launched our estates strategy last April. I have agreed not to release the sale price or say anything about it whatsoever.”
Cllr John Beavis, panel member, asked whether Mr Hayes would be able to maintain that stance if a Freedom of Information request was made.
Mr Hayes said: “Good point. I don't know the answer. I'm happy when the deal is done to discuss the price. There is no interest from me not to. It is a request from the purchaser.”
Cllr Adrian Collett said: “No doubt selling Alpha Park is the right thing to do. It was purchased before Lehman Brothers crashed and the austerity we now face so clearly it would have been silly to keep hold of it. Did you consider the timing of the sale from the point of view whether you could get a better price from holding on?”
Mr Hayes said: “The answer is yes. We did hold back for a little while and were able to realise a few more pennies than otherwise. I said I was prepared not to sell if we didn't get a favourable price.”