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£100,000 for a loo

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: February 26, 2014

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A BIDDING war at a London auction house has seen an unloved Ashbourne loo sell for £100,000.

Property experts say they are staggered at the amount the Union Street toilet block sold for, a figure 10 times its guide price.

Auctioneer Simon Riggall, whose gavel fell on the six-figure sum when the district council-owned building went up for sale on Monday, said the sale had seen a lot of interest, with 41 people downloading the legal pack.

Mr Riggall, from Lambert Smith Hampton, said: “I guess with a building like this the beauty is in the eye of the beholder. In the end it came down to two bidders who kept going right up to £100,000. But one was flushed with success and for the other it all went down the pan.

“With a building like this we have to put it out as an opportunity. We have to distance ourselves from it and allow the public to have their ideas and visions and decide for themselves what it is going to be.”

Retired auctioneer Barry Pearson, who lives close to the single-storey, triangular building and has been involved in the property market for more than 50 years, said he could not believe what the toilets sold for.

He said: “I was totally amazed, because there’s no indication as to what the planners will allow the building to become there is no way to asses a reasonable value for it.

“I honestly thought it would go for about £25,000 to £30,000 which is what I would have thought would be perfectly reasonable but I’m absolutely staggered at the figure it’s made. I’ve seen amazing prices over the years but this has to be one of the most extraordinary I’ve ever seen.

Derbyshire Dales District Council, which closed the toilets at the end of 2012 as part of a cost-cutting review, said the money would be ploughed into a capital fund.

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