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Monday, 4 March 2019

Knowle relocation project: or, how a new HQ costing £8.7m is valued at £3.5m

The District Council has helpfully said it will keep everyone up to date about the costs of the move from Knowle - plus the ongoing costs of the new HQ in Honiton: 

We will be bringing a report to Cabinet to inform members of the final costs of the relocation project. This report will remind members of the regular reporting that will take place as a result of our normal procedures and members can then debate what extra reporting requirements may be appropriate.

Futures Forum: District Council rejects considering motions > full council meeting Wednesday 27th February

However, that was instead of giving the sort of answer which would have given a more full picture of the costs:
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: District Council rejects motion "for the ongoing costs to be published to show confidence that this project will breakeven"

And those costs are very much open to debate - still:
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: challenging the official line that "staying in Sidmouth was not an option"
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: financial profligacy in a time of austerity
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: fantasy 'cost savings over twenty years' are of no interest to people in East Devon

Here's a summary:
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: a summary of the issues

And a summary of the summary:
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: ready to move, but at what cost...


A photo-op with the official opening of the spanking new HQ in Honiton made much of the planting of a 'time capsule' - although the BBC added a few helpful figures as a reminder of the cost of the project: 

Old East Devon council HQ to be handed over to developers

12:28
Daniel Clark
Local Democracy Reporting Service


East Devon District Council hopes to be able to hand over its former Knowle headquarters in Sidmouth to developers by the end of March.

Its new Heathpark headquarters in Honiton opened for business on 11 February but was officially opened in a ceremony last Wednesday.

Children and teachers from two Honiton schools attended and lowered two time capsules into the ground containing a selection of objects chosen by the children - including local newspapers and magazines - to show today's fashions, future predictions, and information about rural village life in East Devon.



The new headquarters cost the council £8.7m, while an additional £1.5m was spent on upgrading Exmouth Town Hall - where one third of the council staff are to be based.

The Knowle has been sold to developers Pegasus Life for £7.5m, which has been granted planning permission to convert the building into a 113-apartment assisted-living community for older people.

Richard Cohen, the deputy chief executive of East Devon District Council, said: "We hope to be out by the end of March, subject to the clearance process we are under taking at the moment."



The East Devon Watch blog notes: 

EDDC HQ MOVE COST NEUTRAL? DON’T MAKE OWL LAUGH!

4 MAR 2019

It has been estimated by a local property developer that the new HQ has a market value of no more than £3.5 million.


EDDC HQ move cost neutral? Don’t make Owl laugh! | East Devon Watch
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