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Anger Over Magna's Plans To Sell Off Land

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9:31am 24th July 2014
(Updated 5:09pm 24th July 2014)

There's anger at plans by Magna Housing to sell off some of its land in West Dorset to reduce its debt.

48 sites have been identified by the housing association, some of which were given to them by West Dorset District Council.

Members of Magna's Residents Association Panel want to challenge the decision.

They say Magna should be using the land to build more affordable homes on which are desperately needed in West Dorset.  "This association is seeking as it's number one priority to reduce debt " said Chair of the resident panel, Anthony Preece, "whereas its primary object is to provide housing".

Dennis Tuffin, a Sherborne resident and shareholder who is also questioning the sale told Wessex FM;  " To sell off land when there is a need of properties for rent to an increasing population and future generations is a wrong decision for the Magna Housing Group Board to have made and I believe that the Residents' Panel should be allowed to challenge the Board's decision as we were not consulted on behalf of the tenants or able to voice our disapproval of this decision to dispose of the land."

"I believe that Magna has set aside its primary function ...to provide affordable homes........ Rather, they have decided that the focus in selling off disposable land is the reduction of debt to financial institutions, thereby accelerating an agreed debt repayment programme to the benefit of investment banks."

Graham Colls, Group Chief Executive of Magna Housing Association, said: “Magna owns a number of pieces of land, some of which it does not expect to be able to develop in the foreseeable future.

"Magna has to get the best out of its assets, and therefore is reviewing what it ought to do with these pieces of land. Magna has not decided to sell any land, though it may in future.”

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