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

EDDC watchdog calls for ‘independent’ Knowle survey

14:58 31 January 2014

The EDDC offices at Knowle in Sidmouth as it is today. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shs 7705-15-12SH To order your copy of this photograph visit and click on myphotos24

The EDDC offices at Knowle in Sidmouth as it is today. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shs 7705-15-12SH To order your copy of this photograph visit and click on myphotos24


A DISTRICT council watchdog has called for ‘independent’ professionals to carry out a survey of Knowle over concerns about the amount of money being spent on the authority’s relocation project.

Overview and scrutiny committee members last night agreed to make the recommendation to cabinet.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) has decided to leave Sidmouth – saying Knowle is not ‘fit for purpose’.

But concerns over the £800,000 of tax-payers’ cash already spent or budgeted on the project prompted calls for a re-think.

Councillors called for evidence to back-up the main argument that is driving the argument for a purpose-built new HQ elsewhere.

Councillor Claire Wright told committee colleagues at last night’s meeting: “It does feel to me as though the council made a decision to go and its getting out of control. The finances are getting out of control. It’s very worrying.”

She said the council had a ‘huge PR problem’ and the public ‘don’t trust’ that Knowle is in a dilapidated state.

She called for an ‘independent person’ – a qualified engineer - to come in and carry out a survey of Knowle and suggested campaign group Save Our Sidmouth could be asked to pay for it.

EDDC’s deputy chief executive Richard Cohen pointed to a previous technical report by experts, commissioned by the authority, that showed £1.5 million would be needed to ‘do the basics’ at Knowle. This report is to be re-circulated to al councillors.

Committee members agreed by eight votes to none, with four abstentions, that a motion would go to cabinet recommending a professional survey of the building be carried out – not undertaken by EDDC.

The Sidmouth Herald was the only newpspaper at the talks and will publish a full account of the meeting in its next edition.


Other News Stories

Sidmouth Royal British Legion raised the Union Jack which was donated to Sidmouth Conservative Club. Ref shs 5980-19-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Sidmouth’s Royal British Legion chairman said it was ‘bloody horrible’ to see that the Union Flag had been stolen from the town’s Conservative club.

Read more
Thomas King with his WW2 Medal. Ref shs 6995-48-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

France’s highest military award has been bestowed upon two 91-year-old war veterans from Sidmouth.

Read more
Yesterday, 06:59
Eastleigh shed, 8 May 1959 (c) C Boocock

Enthusiasts have a unique opportunity to invest in part of Sidmouth’s rail heritage as a £300,000 locomotive restoration project has been put back on track.

Read more
Saturday, November 28, 2015
New Kennaway House manager, Nikki Dawkins, with Michael James, David Leach, Bryan Dawkins and Michael Gordon-Lee. Ref shs 4446-47-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

A new manager and chairman have taken the helm at a charity-run arts centre with a growing reputation in and beyond the Sid Valley.

Read more
Saturday, November 28, 2015
Betty Williams with Lamb and Flag landlord, Ron Miles, and Ottery mayor, Glyn Dobson. Ref sho 4475-52-14AW. Picture: Alex Walton

A widow, whose generous gesture to people facing Christmas alone last year touched hearts around the world, has spoken of her delight that preparations are under way for another festive feast.

Read more
Friday, November 27, 2015
An ariel view of the PegasusLife plans for Knowle.

A developer lined up to buy the East Devon District Council (EDDC) offices at Knowle has unveiled its vision for a retirement community on the site.

Read more
Friday, November 27, 2015
The Sidmouth Friends of the Samaritans held their AGM this week. Pictured are chairman Sue Kensdale with from left Ron Harbour (treasurer), vice chairman Gerald Hayne and Denis Jones (sec). Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shs 3446-08-14SH. To order your copy of this photograph go to

The loss of Sidmouth’s Samaritans support group will have a ‘major impact’ on the running of the service, says the leader of the charity’s Exeter, Mid and East Devon branch.

Read more
Friday, November 27, 2015
MP Hugo Swire visit the King's School this week where he is pictured meeting students in the Teen Health Group. Ref sho 7123-48-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Hugo Swire praised students for their ‘passionate determination’ to address important issues

Read more
Friday, November 27, 2015
Sally Neal has become Sidmouth's first female Crew Manager. Ref shs 7512-48-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

A firefighter has made history after becoming the first woman in Sidmouth to reach the rank of crew manager.

Read more
Thursday, November 26, 2015
Plans have been lodged for Hillside House

A former hotel and restaurant in Newton Poppleford could be converted into a 13-bed care home.

Read more

Local Weather



max temp: 13°C

min temp: 12°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