The Lawn in Lincoln 'will still be sold' despite being taken off the market
The Lawn in Lincoln will still be sold despite temporarily being taken off the market, say its owners.
City of Lincoln Council officials announced this week they were no longer marketing the complex, in Union Road.
Instead, they said they would "re-evaluate their position" after receiving just one formal offer during the past 11 months.
Leader of the Labour-run council, Ric Metcalfe, said: "It was a very disappointing response.
NEED A NEW BOILER OR NEW LUXURY BATHROOM ??? THEN READ OUR...View details
IF YOUR LOOKING TO REPLACE YOUR BOILER OR BATHROOM, THEN CALL P & P PLUMBING. WE OFFER, A, FULL DESIGN, SUPPLY & INSTALLATION SERVICE. SO TAKE A FEW MINUTES TO READ OUR REVIEWS, & THEN GIVE US A CALL.
Terms: TS & CS APPLY
Contact: 01472 803004
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
"We only had one bid although we did have between 15 and 20 expressions of interest and there were a number of people who had discussions with us.
"We have effectively taken it off the market. It wouldn't be a sensible idea to put it back on the market straight away and I can't put a time period on when that might be possible.
"We have not changed our mind about it being the correct decision to sell The Lawn but there is no reason to put it on the market immediately.
"We have got to reflect on everything that has happened since our decision to sell and we will be reviewing all our options in due course."
The Lawn site totals around 1.62 hectares and includes the main complex building, the Sir Joseph Banks Conservatory and Charlotte House – which is subject to a long-term lease – the south lawn and car parking as well as shops, offices and café units.
The Echo revealed in May 2011 how parts of it had begun to fall into disrepair.
Plants were overgrowing and fish were dying in the Sir Joseph Banks Conservatory.
It was put up for sale after the council decided it was not in a position to properly invest the cash needed to bring it up to scratch.
Mr Metcalfe said: "The council have an obligation to invest money into the on-going maintenance so we will continue to do so until we decide what the next step is."
The only bid submitted for The Lawn was from businessman Jonathan Pass, owner of the neighbouring Charlotte House hotel.
"Having only one bid leaves the council in a difficult position and we don't feel we could make a decision based on that," added Mr Metcalfe.
"The price offered, although not the main factor, fell considerably short of what we expected."
Despite seeing his seven-figure offer rejected, father of ten Mr Pass is still open to the idea of buying the complex.
"I am very disappointed and it is a massive missed opportunity for the city," he said.
"Our proposals were to open it up to the people and get more public in and make it fabulous. It is so run down at the moment. We were prepared to put millions of pounds into it to make it a jewel in the crown of Lincoln, but that idea has been snubbed.
"My door is always open, we are still interested in talking about purchasing.
"I have a keen interest in what happens with The Lawn.
"Something needs to happen or we will be left with an iconic building (the conservatory) that will fall apart.
"I stand by my ideas for the site and to transform it for the people of Lincoln – but that is not going to happen at the moment."