Last night’s Full Council gave the all clear for deputy Chief Executive Richard Cohen’s team to press on with the sale of the Knowle site, and the relocation of Council offices.
“At what cost?” is the burning question still unanswered, and unlikely to be any clearer for many months yet. As acknowledged at yesterday’s Full Council meeting, it may not established before next May’s elections.
Another kind of reality check is possible, though. See photos below:
The first shows Exmouth Town Hall (energy rating ‘C’) , and the second, Honiton’s (energy rating ‘D’) East Devon Business Centre. These are to be refurbished, together with some newbuild council offices, to the tune of £10,000,000.
In contrast, at EDDC’s current HQ at Knowle, pictured below, (energy rating ‘C’), employees and visitors currently enjoy ample cost-free parking and a short pleasant walk into Sidmouth town centre (where there is regular bus service to other parts of the District). Save Our Sidmouth has long argued that the former hotel on the site could be sold off, possibly for flats, with no loss of the peaceful parkland. Does the planned decimation of a typical site that makes East Devon a place with a special identity, add to the highly questionable costs of the Cabinet’s “ambition”?