Don't miss a story sign up to Sidmouth Herald's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Council unrest over SkyPark HQ decision

12:30 03 March 2014


The EDDC's current offices at The Knowle in Sidmouth.


Almost £1m has been agreed by district chiefs to buy a plot at the SkyPark, near Exeter, the frontrunner for the council’s new HQ.

But the decision made at East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) full council meeting on Wednesday night was preceded with a failed bid to employ an independent surveyor to assess the condition of the Knowle.

Independent councillors said that there was doubt that the Knowle was in the bad state of repair district bosses had led the public to believe.

But council bosses countered by accusing the naysayers of a last minute bid to derail the plans and of ‘conspiracy theories’.

Councillor Roger Giles said: “The costs have rocketed, and the principles behind it have been abandoned. No longer is a central, location but virtually in Exeter.

“Sidmouth’s loss was to be Honiton’s gain, lots of jobs for Honiton, but not now.

“There are some people who are determined to press ahead with what many regard as a vanity project.”

Cllr Ben Ingham said: “I think this is highly irresponsible – I don’t believe you know what you are doing.”

Cllr Claire Wright said: “I have a sneaking suspicion that the sudden shift in goal posts is to avoid a bit of an embarrassment.

“The SkyPark, although it has been marketed for four years (she cited her source as the county council) has only managed to attract two takers – the ambulance service and Eon Energy Centre.”

EDDC leader Paul Diviani said: “Marketed for four years? Where did you get that from? Because it is wrong.

“Marketing has yet to start. While it is not central geographically it is easy to get to.”

He added: “If everyone had actually taken part on the debate on the way through we would have got on further more quickly.

“Some people did not turn up for the briefings so you are not in a position to know everything that is happening.

“The issue of Honiton came up but as things move forward things change and something better crops up.

“We looked Honiton but it came clear that Honiton had an asset we could use in the process.

“The decision was made by cabinet, which was well attended and people took part in the debate – they just didn’t hide away and skulk in the corner.”


Other News Stories

DCC's proposed cycling and walking route between Sidbury and Sidford

County Hall chiefs will soon be submitting plans for a long-awaited walking and cycling trail between Sidbury and Sidford.

Read more
Sainsbury's apologised after new signs were erected wrongly stating its car park is for customer use only

Sainsbury’s confirmed car park is open to everyone and blamed error in wording for misleading notices

Read more
Yesterday, 19:12
Simon Harris (pictured with his son Noah) has launched a campaign to raise funds for defibrillators in Ottery

‘It’s a no-brainer’ - stark statistics prompt pair to take the initiative and start fundraising bid

Read more
Yesterday, 11:46
Providing accommodation for gypsies and travellers is a legal requirement that East Devon District Council must meet through its Local Plan

IN A significant development in the proposals to locate a large gypsy and traveller site in Cranbrook, East Devon MP Hugo Swire has urged East Devon District Council to rethink its plans.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:10
Victoria Hotel's head chef, Stuart White, wins the Seaside Chef of the Year award. Ref shs 4442-47-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Stuart is named the country’s top seaside chef

Read more
Yesterday, 06:30
Exeter Magistrates' Court

A carpet cleaner, who offered rock-bottom prices to homeowners – including a vulnerable dementia sufferer – before hiking up his charges by up to 5,400 per cent, has pleaded guilty to seven offences.

Read more
Mon, 16:12
Sidmouth independent bsuiness men and women are gearing up for the festive season and in particular the late night Christmas shopping event. Ref shs 5600-45-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

A campaign aimed at boosting independent business and celebrating what makes Sidmouth’s retail experience unique is under way for the third year running.

Read more
Mon, 11:12
Kirsty Trent completed her first ever marathon and raised £547.57 for Sidmouth Hospiscare

Runner completed a 26.2 mile distance to raise more than £500 for charity that provided ‘invaluable’ care to her family

Read more
Mon, 11:00
Snails ate Sarah Sanders' letter

Royal Mail apologises to East Devon resident, saying hungry snails love to feast on envelopes and stamps

Read more
Mon, 07:04
EDDC's Knowle HQ. Ref shs 7712-15-12SH Picture: Simon Horn

A developer behind plans to redevelop East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) offices at Knowle is to reveal its vision for the site at an exhibition later this month.

Read more

Local Weather



max temp: 11°C

min temp: 9°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Read the Sidmouth Herald e-edition E-edition

Local business directory

Devon's trusted business finder

Find a job in Sidmouth

Find planning applications