Government flogs Admiralty Arch

Admiralty ArchPA

Fancy an unusual central London home? How about Admiralty Arch? It's handy for the shops, and walking distance from plenty of parks if you want to stretch your legs. If you have £75 million it could be yours, as the government seeks to sell off its treasures for a fast buck.

So what's on offer?

The Arch

It's certainly an impressive piece of real-estate, dominating Trafalgar Square. It is home to 147,300sq feet of real-estate, including a basement, lower ground and ground floor, and five upper floors. It will also have its moment in the sun, possibly under new management, when the Olympic marathon goes through its arches.

It isn't the easiest property in the world to own. As the traffic drives through it, soundproofing is going to be a challenge. It's also Grade I-listed, so if you wanted, for example, to turn it into a hotel, then you'd have your work cut out for you. Given that it's stone's throw from Buckingham Palace and often forms part of Royal events, you'll also need a robust security plan to prove you can keep terrorists out.

The money-spinning

The sale brochure reveals the arch's role in boosting the Govenment's coffers: "The Government's objective is to maximise the overall value to the Exchequer from the re-use of Admiralty Arch and to balance this with the need to respect and protect the heritage of the building, now and in the future, enable the potential for public access, and ensure awareness of, and be prepared to respond to, potential security implications."

The Government is hanging onto the freehold of the property so it can have some say in how it is used.

However, this is just all another way of saying they are selling off the crown jewels.

The question is whether we should be selling off the nation's heritage like this, and whether this will be the first of many property fire sales as the government casts around for every spare copper.

But what do you think? Let us know in the comments.
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