Sunday, 11 August 2013

Knowle relocation: should we stay or should we go...

Two very different takes on the proposal to move the District Council headquarters: these are from the letters pages of the Sidmouth Herald, one asking why updating the current HQ should not be considered:

Sad Knowle

Sunday, September 9, 2012 
SIR - Re: The Knowle. East Devon District Council laughingly refers to a consultation exercise. They say that one’s hearing is the last thing to go. Sadly, with councillors, once elected, they appear to hear very little.
In the same way they appear to have deficient eyesight, otherwise how could they consider destruction on a massive scale of the buildings and surrounding park. Viewed from the golf course, or from Salcombe Hill, the distinctive yellow structure really stands out.
Thank heavens for landscape gardeners of the past, such as Capability Brown, who created the most wonderful parklands, knowing that, within their own lifetime, they would not see the full results of their labours, but planned for the benefit of future generation.
Centuries to create and mature and literally days to destroy; is this what we really want?
Think again, council, and stop procrastinating on the real cost of updating the existing premises to a satisfactory state.
Peter Atkinson
Knowle Drive, Sidmouth

Another letter a year on suggesting a suitable site in Honiton:

How about here?

Saturday, August 3, 2013 
Regarding the location of Knowle premises, Sidmouth.
Recently, walking up Church Hill, Honiton, I looked into the field at St Michael’s Church and the idea came to me that this would be the ideal site for East Devon District Council to move to.
Travel would be easily accessible by rail and local buses to this development. The field, I understand, is owned by Gittisham Estate.
Design of the project: the bottom section of the field would contain most of the cars, above would be the office section in a half circle, all glass frontage with its panoramic views of the Otter Valley, with access also to an underground car park. Tower cross route to also be considered.
Honiton is almost the centre of East Devon; wherever could you have more adaptable?
Having supervised all kinds of projects throughout the UK over 40 years, one is still observant.
I know how to respect a project manager from the private sector; this is the kind of person with so much experience that should be selected to lead all local authorities.
Throughout my career I would not employ tradespersons from the public sector; they do not seem to be adaptable.
I have so many interesting stories to remember – one being Hinkley Point, where I supervised all electrical services for No. 1 Reactor.
Maurice Gray

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