Sunday, 17 April 2016

Knowle relocation project: refurbishing a Victorian building >>> and the promise of social housing at Knowle

The District Council has invested in renovating older buildings:
Futures Forum: PassivHaus in East Devon >>> District Council refurbishes Victorian building 'using ground breaking low energy standards'

District council leads the way with innovative, low energy refurbishment of Exmouth building for single people

East Devon District Council has commenced refurbishment work with South West housing specialists Mi-space, using ground breaking low energy standards, on an exciting new type of shared social housing in a Victorian style terraced house in Exmouth.

15 April 2016 - East Devon commences UK’s first Passivhaus ‘EnerPHit’ standard social housing project - East Devon

Which brings us back to the obvious question:
When to Renovate, When to Demolish

And to the rather obvious hot property currently on the District Council's books:
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: demolish or renovate?
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: vs refurbishing Bristol City Hall: "This project is about using our property far more intelligently in order to make savings and avoid long-term costs."

The question of course is why the District Council is unwilling to invest in this particular Victorian building:

Futures Forum: Knowle: old bricks vs new build: embodied carbon: pt 3
Futures Forum: Knowle: old bricks vs new build: embodied carbon

See also:
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project ... "Should we build less and reuse more?"
Futures Forum: "A truly green alternative to EDDC's proposal"
Futures Forum: Costs of relocating District Council offices vs costs of refurbishing Knowle

In fact, the Victorian part of the Knowle was social housing for some time:

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
Sidmouth Museum
Home - Sidmouth Herald

Futures Forum: Knowle plans: flats

See also:
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: "Impressive 1880s Victorian heritage"

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