Moving and Improving: all you need to know about the office relocation - East Devon
The 'buyer' will only 'buy' if it gets planning permission:
3. What will happen to Knowle?
The buyer of Knowle is a company called Pegasus Life Ltd. This company are specialists in providing living and care facilities for an older population. The demographic of East Devon shows clear compatibility with usage of this kind with Sidmouth having a population of 45.3% over 65 and 11% over 85 (2011 census).
The sale of Knowle to Pegasus Life Ltd is subject to a successful planning application. The current application from Pegasus Life was considered by the development management committee on 6 December 2016. The decision was to refuse permission and we await Pegasus Life's next steps.
The council has agreed that 86% (3.5 hectares) of the parkland at Knowle will be offered to Sidmouth Town Council to own and manage in perpetuity with a covenant over future development of this land.
Moving and Improving: all you need to know about the office relocation - What will happen to Knowle? - East Devon
And that planning permission was rejected - and has now gone to appeal, to be heard in two weeks:
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: District Council publishes 'proof of evidence' prepared by Cornwall Council planning officer
There are questions as to what council services will be available and where:
4. When the Council relocates, how will I access services?
Most of the council’s customers access our services by telephone or online. 84% of our customers have regular access to the internet for personal use. For this reason, we are continuing to work hard to develop more and more services which are available online.
Our new ways of working mean that more of our officers work on a mobile basis meaning that they can meet customers across the district.
The council will continue to use surgeries to provide key services across the district and this is likely to include Sidmouth on a regular basis depending on demand.
Following customer feedback, we have considered service delivery from Honiton and Exmouth.
Moving and Improving: all you need to know about the office relocation - When the Council relocates, how will I access services? - East Devon
'Service delivery from Honiton and Exmouth' means spending £10m on a new HQ:
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: or, putting the cart before the horse >>> Building starts on a new HQ in Honiton, but with nothing to cover the £10m+ cost
As the EDW blog reminds us, we don't actually have that sort of money - and besides, other councils are not only having to do without a spanking new building, but...
Here’s an article about cash-strapped councils selling off town halls in order to save money. There is NO comparison with councils such as ours which are then SPENDING EXTRA MONEY on their new HQ.
£10million or so in our case:
15 | November | 2017 | East Devon Watch
With the full piece from today's Guardian:
Britain's cash-strapped councils and the great Civic Centre sell-off | Cities | The Guardian
It's part of a bigger picture:
Futures Forum: The assault on Local Government: The Strange Death of Municipal England: