Taxpayers to pay £34k to fix Comet roof

A closing down sale with few customers

Eastleigh taxpayers will have to fork out £34,500 for repairs to the roof of the empty Comet  electrical superstore on Woodside Avenue.

Comet entered administration on the 2 November 2012 and went into liquidation last month but they vacated the council owned premises without having done vital repair works that the council say they had repeatedly requested.

In 2010 Comet spent £250,000 at their Eastleigh branch on a store ‘makeover’.

The retail unit has been on the market for over six months and council bosses say repair works are necessary in order to find a new tenant.

Last night council cabinet were told that there would also be extra costs as the intention is to install solar panels on the roof as part of the council’s ongoing project to convert council owned property to solar energy, although the system is expected to pay for itself in the long term.

Councillor Judith Grajewski asked the cabinet how much rental income had been lost while the unit has been empty.

Council leader Keith House said he was unable to provide a figure at short notice but thought that as the unit was on long lease there may have been not have been a loss and in any case the councils property portfolio was balanced and could absorb bad debt or vacancies:

“Any one unit getting into difficulties cant tip the portfolio into loss” he assured.

Cllr Grajewski said:

“It’s regrettable that Comet has left the council with this problem.”

A council spokesman told Eastleigh News:

“Currently the unit remains in the hands of the administrators and we are making a claim to the Administrators for the dilapidations.”

  9 comments for “Taxpayers to pay £34k to fix Comet roof

  1. Stuart Jebbitt
    November 8, 2013 at 9:57 am

    Sorry to state the obvious – Wouldn’t it make more sense to offer the new tenants a reduced rent for several years if they were to undertake repairing the roof?
    What would be great is some kind general household store like Wilkinsons or the Range which would complement the other stores in situ and be useful to local people and create some LOCAL jobs.

  2. Sunita
    November 8, 2013 at 10:54 am

    Demolish it and add it to the local plan…save some of our greenfields! Nice (anti) “Social Housing” tower block there would save loads.

  3. November 8, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    £34,500….?

    Where did they get that quote from…?
    It seems like a heck of a lot of money to fix that roof…

  4. fairoak resident
    November 8, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    Typical of this council no doubt they will put up parking in Eastleigh to pay for it

  5. Matthew Myatt
    November 8, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    £34,500 to fix a bloody roof.?? I bet that has not been out to tender.!!

    Look, me and my mate honest Dave, will do the whole job for £137.28.

    Make it cash and we will forget the VAT.

  6. mm
    Eastleigh Xpress
    November 8, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    The repair bill itself is £30k, then £2,500 on surveyor’s fees and £2,000 on staff time.

  7. mm
    Eastleigh Xpress
    November 8, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    Update: Council spokesman has said:

    “Currently the unit remains in the hands of the administrators and we are making a claim to the Administrators for the dilapidations.”

    • November 8, 2013 at 8:59 pm

      That’s slightly better news, but £30K still seems like a lot to me. A nice round number too…

  8. Stuart Jebbitt
    November 9, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    Has all the hallmarks of Crapita – well known for over inflating costs.

Comments are closed.