When Knowle was taken over by the District Council 40 years ago, there was the issue of what to do with the tenants occupying the flats - housed in the former Knowle hotel:
In other words, the former Victorian hotel has provided housing for local people in the past.
This raises a questions of why this cannot be done again:
> why housing could not be provided once more in situ, either as a 're-conversion' of the current building or as a newbuild on the same site?
> why the District Council could not simply vacate the older building and 'move next door' into the newer block, as it has made clear that it wishes to reduce its office-space:
EDDC Office Accommodation report
Indeed, when the District Council was looking to purchase the Knowle hotel in the 1960s, housing was not only its priority, but it wished to make good use of the current site:
"It is the intention that part of the building should be used for housing (the major part of the purchase price is for this purpose) and the remainder for improved council accommodation..."
With thanks to Sidmouth Museum for access to the archive:
Sid Vale Association - Sidmouth Museum
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