District council could ‘leave Sidmouth in two years’

EAST Devon District Council (EDDC) could complete a mooted move from Sidmouth to purpose-built new headquarters in Honiton “within two years”.

EDDC has appointed a company with global construction experience to “deliver” its proposed relocation.

Authority chiefs say they selected Davis Langdon consultants to oversee a possible move away from Knowle after a “rigorous selection process”.

The firm has, in turn, tasked project manager Steve Pratten with probing the feasibility of the move and to deliver it if it is viable.

His first task will be to ensure the project will pay for itself before organising the move and seeing it through to completion, said an EDDC spokesperson. Councillor Paul Diviani, leader of EDDC, said: “This move is about a lot more than a new building. Every aspect of this project has to be spot on.

“I am really excited we will have the extensive resources of Davis Langdon behind us as we approach this vital stage in the council’s future development.

“Through our choice of a mature contractor with an impressive track record, we have set down a marker that we are determined to follow through with our promise that this relocation will not only be cost neutral but will be a massive improvement for our staff and customers and also minimise our carbon footprint”.

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Richard Cohen, EDDC’s deputy chief executive, said: “We believe it is people with the right talents who deliver a great project. We have chosen Davis Langdon as the best fit to take this big move forward.

Steve is a mature, knowledgeable and highly experienced project manager. He lives within easy reach of Sidmouth and will be able to draw upon the wider expertise in Davis Langdon to support him where needed”.

Davis Langdon will take up the appointment in April and it is hoped that the move can be completed within two years, according to EDDC.