By Tom Degun

Glasgow 2014_Athletes_Village_with_logoJanuary 4 - Police are set to look at a series of multi-million pound land deals in Glasgow which were bought in order to build venues for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in the city.

The police probe comes following a complaint by Scottish National Party member James Dornan, who represents the city's Cathcart constituency.

Dornan wants to establish whether public money for the Commonwealth Games was misused in some deals.

In one case, Mayfair property developer Charles Price was paid £17 million ($26 million/€20 million) for land needed for the Athletes' Village (pictured above) which had cost him just £8 million ($12.5 million/€9.5 million).

Glasgow City Council justified the pay-out on the basis that it had commissioned an independent valuation of the land from surveying firm Colliers CRE.

The Council had special compulsory purchase powers granted by the Scottish Government which were designed to protect the public purse during negotiations over land needed for the Commonwealth Games.

However, the authority chose not to use them against Price's company.

Sir David_Murray_04-01-12Another deal saw former Rangers owner Sir David Murray's (pictured) company paid £5.1 million ($7.2 million/€6.1 million) for the site of the former Dalmarnock Power Station which had been bought for just £375,000 ($585,000/€449,457) in 2005.

The site was derelict, contaminated by a cocktail of metals and had been used as a dump by fly tippers but it was sold by Sir David's company for nearly a £5 million ($7 million/€6 million) profit to the publicly-funded urban regeneration company Clyde Gateway after an independent valuation had been carried out by a surveying firm.

A third deal saw council-owned land given away free to a property developer whose directors gave money to the Labour party, only to be bought back three years later for £1.3 million ($1.9 million/€1.56 million) after an independent valuation had been carried out by a surveying firm.

Dornan asked for land deals to be investigated in October last year by writing to Strathclyde chief constable Stephen House and Scotland's auditor general Robert Black.

"We can confirm that a complaint has been received and enquiries are on-going," a spokeswoman for Strathclyde Police said.

It is not suggested any of the sellers were involved in criminal behaviour but the buyers could have questions to answer.

"I am very encouraged by the police response to my complaint," said Dornan.

"Clearly, the council tax payers of Glasgow have to be confident that public money is being spent wisely.

"Any suggestion to the contrary - that public money is not being spent wisely - has to be fully investigated."

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