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Barley Homes costs Suffolk's taxpayers £70,000

Suffolk County Council's headquarters at Endeavour House, Ipswich. (6000753)
Suffolk County Council's headquarters at Endeavour House, Ipswich. (6000753)

A joint council housebuilding venture which Suffolk County Council abandoned before a single home had been built has cost taxpayers £70,000, it has emerged.

As reported by the Journal in September, Suffolk County Council pulled out of Barley Homes, its joint venture with St Edmundsbury and Forest Heath councils.

The scheme aimed to develop vacant land owned by the local authorities in the west of the county to provide much-needed homes.

The council confirmed in a report to last month’s audit committee that its £250,000 loan outstanding in the venture would be recovered so it would recoup in full its initial investment and would not bear any of the risk of future development.

But it failed to report that the £70,000 costs it incurred from setting up the company would not be recovered. The council transferred its share of the firm to the two other Suffolk authorities, which are set to merge next year.

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