Cost of relocating cheaper than staying put

PUBLISHED: 11:02 12 September 2012

The Knowle relocation petition by Save Our Sidmouth campaign group. SOS member Alfie Weaver with signs up Shirley Pratt to the petition. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 9813-36-12AW

The Knowle relocation petition by Save Our Sidmouth campaign group. SOS member Alfie Weaver with signs up Shirley Pratt to the petition. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 9813-36-12AW

Archant

Advice given to EDDC by consultants.

Refurbishing its existing base at Knowle would cost East Devon District Council millions of pounds more than relocating to purpose-built premises.

That is what an in-depth report, prepared by an independent consultant, reveals.

The cost of refurbishing the council’s existing accommodation has been estimated at almost £13million.

Replacing doors and windows alone would set the authority back £617,760.

Meanwhile, the council says it aims to relocate at “no cost to the tax payer”.

In its cost model for the refurbishment of the Knowle, Davis Langdon states electrical work could cost as much as £1.4million while communications equipment, including fire and smoke alarms, induction loops and data cabling, is likely to cost £540,540.

Replacing roof tiles at the former hotel building has been calculated at £270,270 and repairs to stairs could generate a bill for £77,220.

The report was produced to provide an indication of overall costs associated with the refurbishment of the existing offices, based on an overall gross internal area of 7,722 square metres.

The report states: “The standard cost model has been adjusted to reflect the two different construction types, consisting of the former hotel building, previously converted to offices, and the purpose-built concrete framed office building.

“The extent of refurbishment can vary greatly but, in this case, the scope of works has been assumed as follows:

“Essential repairs to the existing building fabric including replacement of existing roof finishes; replacement/upgrade of windows and external doors; alterations to provide a DDA compliant building; upgrade to the thermal performance and carbon efficiency of the building and achievement of minimum BREEAM excellent rating; full replacement of all building services installations.”

The report set tender price inflation at 2.2 per cent for 2013.

The council aims to relocate to new, purpose-built headquarters in Honiton, but says the move will go ahead “only if we can complete the project at no cost to the council tax payer”.

Modern offices, the authority says, will be easier to reach from all parts of the district, including the new town of Cranbrook.

The new building would also have a smaller carbon footprint, with less impact on the environment and lower running and maintenance costs.

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