Second Grangemouth business questions council land sale policy

Dundas Street in Grangemouth is home to several small-to-medium businesses. Falkirk Council is in the process of selling its remaining units in the area

Dundas Street in Grangemouth is home to several small-to-medium businesses. Falkirk Council is in the process of selling its remaining units in the area

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A second Grangemouth business has questioned Falkirk Council policy on selling property assets already occupied by existing firms.

The Falkirk Herald reported on July 16 that a businessman in Dundas Street had failed in a bid to buy a council-owned building despite investing significant sums of money to repair it and securing a 25-year tenancy.

The sale process is transparent and we must achieve the best market price for local taxpayers

Falkirk Council spokeswoman

Lex Miller, who owns several other commercial units in the street, accused the local authority of “cashing in” on his hard work.

The council insists it is bound to achieve best 
value for local taxpayers on all property sales.

Now another Dundas Street-based firm is asking why priority is not given to existing tenants.

McAlpine Auto Sills built its premises in 1977 on 
council-owned land and has operated from the same site ever since.

The family-owned business is understood to be keen to buy the lot but is concerned it will lose out under the best value policy, in which the highest bid must be accepted irrespective of who makes it.

The firm declined to comment when contacted by The Falkirk Herald this week.

A Falkirk Council spokeswoman said McAlpines would be able to remain at its present home even if it was bought by another party.

She said: “This property is part of the council’s Portfolio Management Plan and is scheduled to be placed on the open market this financial year, consistent with the council’s approach for these properties, to ensure the sale process is transparent and achieves the best market price for local taxpayers.

“The current tenant will be able to put an offer in for the land.

“However, it has already been agreed to extend the existing ground lease by twenty years to provide the tenant with a secure lease until 2040.”