HAVING failed to find a tenant for the historic component of its Huntingdon headquarters site, Huntingdonshire District Council has asked a professional property specialist to help.

Castle Hill House, the wartime home of the RAF Pathfinder Squadron situated at the junction of the High Street and St Mary's Street, was left empty more than 18 months ago when the council completed its new £17million HQ next door.

The original plan had been to convert it into flats for sale on the open market, but English Heritage refused to allow the contemplated sub-division. So it was retained as offices.

By the time officers moved out in March last year, the property market had collapsed and HDC decided to retain the freehold and let the building.

But no tenants came forward, so the Grade II Star Listed property has now been placed on the market through commercial property specialists Barker Storey Matthews.

HDC did not have to go far to find them – BSM's head office is just a stone's throw away, in the High Street.

The historic Castle Hill House was originally built in 1787 and was the home of the Veasey family from 1837 until 1916. At that time the house included a large garden which incorporated the site of the former Huntingdon castle, known as Castle Hill – hence the name.

Castle Hill House is, however, more famous for its wartime connection with the RAF and housed the main Headquarters of the Pathfinder Squadron from 1943 until the end of World War II.

BSM's principal Alan Matthews says the property could once again be used as offices but would suit a range of alternative uses such as residential or possibly a restaurant, subject to planning permission.

The property which comprises 5,450 sq ft of office space plus 1,554 sq ft of external stores and garages, with parking for over 20 cars, is on the market with a price tag of £625,000 – rather less than the £1m HDC originally hoped to get for it. Alternatively, it is offered on a new lease at a rental of £60,000 a year.

INFORMATION: Alan Matthews at Barker Storey Matthews is on 01480 451578 or e-mail arm@bsm.uk.com