SOLIHULL Council was poised to rake in over £10 million eight years ago for land due to be sold as part of the Parkgate development, the Solihull News has learned.
Figures obtained through a Freedom of Information request reveal that back in 2004, the council was considering accepting £10.5 million for the sale of part of Shirley Park and adjacent land to make way for the regeneration scheme.
Planning permission for the £80 million development was given the go-ahead last summer following years of uncertainty over the project.
The land was eventually transferred to developer Shirley Advance in May this year.
But Solihull Council confirmed this week that the final value of the transfer cannot be calculated until work on the development is complete.
Councillor Howard Allen (Green, Shirley West) said the premium gives residents an insight into the planned scale of the development from the beginning.
He added: “It is disgraceful that it is Shirley residents who have to pay the ultimate price with the unnecessary loss of a large part of Shirley Park including the unique Ring of Oaks.”
Coun Andy Hodgson (Green, Shirley South) added: “It is a significant amount of money and the main concern is, was any of this money going to be put back into Shirley?”
But Counservative councillor Gary Allport, who represents the same ward, argued the majority of constituents support the scheme and are pleased work has finally begun to breathe life back into Shirley.
Resident Sallie Barker said: “What have they done [with the money]? What will they do with it? It should be used to regenerate the rest of Shirley, since Parkgate may well affect business of the smaller shops on the high street.”
A council spokesman said: “The final value of the transfer will not be determined until a full appraisal of costs and income has been carried out on completion of the development.
“The development has been subject to a number of reviews since 2004 to reflect changes in market conditions.”