The council hopes that the new owner will be able to preserve or enhance this historical building

Seaton searchlight emplacement building achieves outstanding sale price of £72,500

East Devon District Council’s historic former World War II searchlight emplacement building on Seaton seafront has been sold by online auction for £72,500 through the London office of Lambert Smith Hampton.

This unique open fronted property, which occupies a prominent elevated position along the esplanade with fine views over the beach and the English Channel, attracted strong interest among prospective buyers in the lead-up to the auction and, on the day of the auction (7 November 2018), a total of 100 bids were received from nine different bidders. The eventual sale price of £72,500 was considerably in excess of both the reserve price and what the council had hoped to achieve. 

Reacting to the news of the auction result, Councillor Geoff Pook, East Devon’s Asset Management portfolio holder said:

The price achieved has far exceeded what both the council and auctioneers anticipated and provides a valuable receipt to the council. I look forward to seeing the plans for the building and seeing it brought back into a beneficial use.

East Devon has acknowledged the historical importance of the building and it is hoped that the new owner will be able to preserve or enhance this element as part of a programme for the refurbishment and conversation of the building to another use (subject to planning). The blue plaque and information board currently attached to the front of the building will now be moved onto the retaining wall in front of the building.

Auctioneers, Lambert Smith Hampton, said:

The property presents a truly unique opportunity and we look forward to seeing it become a feature of the seafront in the future. The sale of the property by online auction opened up the sale to a much wider audience, particularly to local residents, this is shown by the fact that this was many of the bidders’ first auction. We believe that this wide array of bidders was the reason such a good result was achieved.