Home Business News First phase of council relocation complete with Exmouth town hall refurbishment

First phase of council relocation complete with Exmouth town hall refurbishment

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The first phase of East Devon District Council’s £10m relocation from the Knowle in Sidmouth to Exmouth and Honiton is complete.
East Devon District Council decided in 2015 to relocate its headquarters to new offices in Honiton and Exmouth.
The relocation programme is called ‘Moving & Improving’, the council claims boosts the flexibility and working methods of the council in offering a 21st century service to residents, while demonstrating a strong investment in East Devon’s two largest towns.
Staff began moving into their new Exmouth work space in November. Housing Needs and Benefits teams now occupy desks at the Town Hall; Planning officers can be seen by appointment and Environmental Health staff will touch down in Exmouth according to need.
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All services are still available at Sidmouth and will transfer to Honiton from Knowle, probably in December 2018, and work has begun on the new HQ at Heathfield.

Artist impression of the new East Devon District Council HQ in Honiton
Cllr Phil Twiss, Deputy Leader of EDDC, said: “We’re delighted to announce EDDC now fully open for business in Exmouth. The £1.5 million refurbishment of Exmouth Town Hall is more proof that Conservatives in East Devon deliver on our promises. We’re determined to become an outstanding council – and giving our staff the best possible working conditions is a giant step.
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“Moving out of antiquated, expensive buildings into purpose-built, modern accommodation, accessible to customers and equipped with the latest technology, goes a long way. Our WorkSmart programme means we can be open for business where and when our customers want us.
“This Exmouth phase will be followed in about 12 months by the main HQ building in Honiton, when EDDC staff will be working in an environment suited to 21st century working practices and future-proofed against ongoing changes. The Honiton base will also better serve the needs of councillors, with purpose-built facilities for meetings and public engagement.”

New Exmouth town hall
Former Mayor and now EDDC Exmouth Champion John Humphreys said: “Exmouth’s on the up and this latest improvement is further proof that Conservatives on EDDC not only care about Exmouth but put our money where our mouth is”.
Town and District Councillor Maddy Chapman said: “Another tick in the box for a wide range of improvements we Conservatives want to make in Exmouth. We’re gradually achieving the things many in the town said they wanted when we were consulting on the Exmouth Masterplan”.
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The move was due to be financed by the council selling its Knowle headquarters to Pegasus Life Ltd for £7.5million.
But, those plans were thrown into jeopardy when a planning application by Pegasus Life for a 113-apartment assisted-living community for older people was refused by the council’s planning committee.

Artist impression of the Knowle plans
Pegasus Life has lodged an appeal and a planning inquiry has been held into the scheme.
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But earlier this year, the council decided that its relocation to Honiton could go ahead in the expectation of the sale of East Devon’s current office site at Knowle in Sidmouth.
Source: Devon live