Nicholas Pine's Goss Blog

The Goss ovens

The Glost kiln and two warehouses in Sturgess Street off London Road, Stoke were purchased from Portmeiron Ltd for £80,000 some ten years ago by a Staffordshire property developer.

I approached him and asked if he would be interested in doing a deal on the site but received no reply. I then heard the whole site had been entered into the auction at Pugh and Co, a Manchester commercial auction firm with reserve of £250,000.

I visited the site again only to find that the warehouses have been heavily vandalised, a whole section of brickwork at the rear is missing, kids have set fire to the building, and really they need to be pulled down rather than restored.

The reason the site was put up for auction was because the council served notice on the owners to restore the grade 2 listed buildings at their own expense otherwise the council would do so and charge the land owner. Obviously the owner did not wish to occur such expenditure and just wished to knock the site out at auction.

In any event, the site did not reach its reserve at auction but the following week the reserve was lowered to £200,000. The auctioneers told me they had received a cash offer of that sum and first one to exchange by 10am the next morning would be the buyer. We therefore sent for the legal pack and were doing our homework but unfortunately we were not ready to exchange by 10am and another buyer, a property developer, bought the site.

The buyer was Walbury Commercial Ltd and Land Registry records show that the price paid was £150,000. They will sell the site on for a profit of £50,000. I expect they are preparing a development scheme for the site.

Having reflected on the matter since, my main business being that of a property developer, I decided that the buildings were too far gone and would cost far too much to restore with no eventual purpose so I have decided not to acquire the site.

Nicholas J Pine