Middlemarch vote delayed

Tynwald buildings, Douglas

Tynwald buildings, Douglas

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A motion asking Tynwald to rubberstamp the controversial purchase of the Middlemarch site has been postponed - pending legal opinion being published on the acquisition.

The Middlemarch site was purchased last year as part of the Sefton Group bail-out deal.

But Lib Van MHK Kate Beecroft believes government went beyond its legal powers to buy the site and has requested legal opinion on the matter.

Treasury Minister Eddie Teare has asked Tynwald to approve £14.5m to cover overspends on capital schemes and a further £9.85m for the purchase of Finch Hill House and the Middlemarch site. He insisted the overspends were simply about timing issues - while the land and building purchases were wholly financed by transfers from the Land and Property Acquisition Reserve and received prior approval of Treasury.

But he has now written to the Tynwald president requesting a postponement of the motion, saying it would not be appropriate for members to vote on it while legal opinion is being sought.

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