Leeds council pays undisclosed sum to Catholic Church after taking back old St Gregory’s school site
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St Gregory’s closed in 2008 and under the terms of an agreement signed in the 1970s when the school opened, the land in Swarcliffe was returned to council ownership in 2010. However, the document said there were “protracted discussions” between 2008 and 2010, during which time the Church “incurred security costs”.
The council is now set to sell the site in Stanks Gardens for housebuilding. The document said the windfall from that deal “exceeds” what the local authority owes to the Church.
It is not clear if the council and Church have been in dispute over the transfer fee since 2010, or if the Diocese was simply promised money when the council eventually sold the property on. The council had not responded to repeated requests for comment over the matter. The sum of money involved has also been kept secret.
Explaining why the sum was omitted from public council records, the document said: “It is considered that since this information was obtained through one-to-one negotiations for the purchase of the land/property referred to then it is not in the public interest to disclose this information at this point in time.
“Also the release of such information would or would be likely to prejudice the council’s commercial interests in relation to and undermine its attempts to acquire by agreement similar properties in the locality in that owners of other similar properties would be aware about the nature and level of consideration which may prove acceptable to the council.”
The Diocese of Leeds was contacted for comment, but had not responded at the time of writing.