ING and Selling the Family Silver?
The Town of Hayle has been subject to a lot of interest by four supermarkets. Cornwall Councils Strategic Planning Committee will have to decide which application, if any, gets the go-ahead. These plans are scheduled to be presented to the Committee in September. It is a slight understatement that feelings are running high, and for better or worse the future of Hayle will be decided.
The preferred application by Cornwall Councils Planners (although disputed by the opposition) is the development of South Quay which includes the building of a supermarket and housing.
In the first half of 2011 ING announced its intention to move fully out of property. I thought nothing really of it until today when I stumbled upon a press statement by CBRE Investors. In that press statement it announced the acquisition of all of ING’s Real Estate Investment Management (REIM) businesses in Europe and Asia for £960 million.
This statement made me pause and then check where Hayle Harbour sits in ING’s portfolio. Has it been included in the sale of the REIM’s? After a few checks and the odd phone call I found out Hayle Harbour sits in a Real Estate Development (RED). Generally, a non-completed project sits in a RED before it is transferred to a REIM once the project is completed. This sounds logical enough until you realise ING has sold its REIM’s.
The question is what will ING do if it gets planning? Could there be a real possibility, and danger, that once planning has been obtained ING will sell the harbour off for an enhanced price because it has planning? It already has planning for development, but this has been touted as ‘not viable’ in the current climate. After all it has said its intention is to get out of property.
If (and it’s a very big if) ING sell it on, will the new owners stay with the current plan, or modify or change, or start again from scratch. Where will this leave Hayle? I have blogged before that Hayle has been let down once too often in the past. Will it happen again? I guess only time will tell.
Do you think ING has told Cornwall Council? I doubt it very much.