LAST MINUTE lobbying looks unlikely to prevent the ICE's Benevolent Fund from selling off its Mill Hill Close housing estate, NCE learnt this week.
The estate was built in the 1950s to house ICE members and their families with financial problems.
The future of the estate, which consists of 17 houses and 16 flats, and has been valued at £3.8M, will be decided by fund's 10 trustees after the AGM on 6 June.
The trustees include the current ICE president, three ICE Council members and six representatives elected by ICE members who contribute to the fund.
It is widely believed that they will approve the sell off.
At last year's AGM it was revealed that the £157,000 annual running cost far outstripped the £52,000 received in rent and maintenance charges.
But the financial case is not clear cut. After a bad year on the stock exchange the value of the fund's investments fell by almost £2M to £14.6M. If let commercially, the estate could generate over £150,000 annually.
For the last two years less than half of the estate's properties have been occupied by beneficiaries, with the remaining properties let to private tenants.
'A sell off is more likely to be implemented next year, but they are moving towards selling, ' said ICE chief executive Mike Casebourne, who is honorary secretary to the fund.
Residents lobby group Mill Hill Close Beneficiaries Association is campaigning for more time for the estate to prove its worth.
'The availability of accommodation should be much better publicised before invoking a hasty and irreversible sale of such a wonderful asset, ' said association chairman Ian Towner.