Wakefield Council buys property on Normanton industrial estate, but it won't say why

Don Pedro Avenue in Normanton.
Don Pedro Avenue in Normanton.

Wakefield Council has purchased a property on an industrial estate, but why it's done so is a mystery.

The local authority's delegated decisions register revealed it had bought a site on Don Pedro Avenue in Normanton on October 17.

But the council has refused to say which building it is and why it's made the purchase, claiming that the information is too commercially sensitive to be made public.

It is equally unclear how much taxpayers' money was used to fund the venture.

The deal follows a study by investigative journalism unit Bureau Local last year, which revealed the council spent more than £2.5m on buying a total of 22 buildings and land plots between 2013 and 2018.

Some of the properties concerned were derelict, including the old Wood Street police station and Wakefield's old crown court building.

These were bought by the council with a view to regenerating them and selling them back to the private sector.

Others however, were bought with a view to developing housing.

The practice of buying property is widespread across UK councils, with many having turned to the market in a bid to raise funds for services, though concerns have been expressed that many authorities may end up losing cash in the event of an economic downturn.

Local Democracy Reporting Service