EDDC approves new Honiton HQ
- Credit: Archant
The district council’s plans for a new HQ in Honiton have been approved – an ‘important step forward’ in their relocation from Sidmouth.
The new 2,600sqm office block for East Devon District Council (EDDC), at Heathpark, got the unanimous support of its development management committee last week.
The modern building will comprise a public chamber, meeting rooms and welfare facilities for staff. There is also provision for 135 cars and a new pedestrian and cycle route.
Recommending approval, officers said: “It is considered that the design, while of reasonable quality and attractiveness, is a missed opportunity to establish a truly high-quality public building on this site. Design is, however, highly subjective and public finances limit what can be achieved in this case.”
The officers said redevelopment of the vacant site would be a ‘significant gain’ for the town in planning and economic terms.
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EDDC’s ambition to relocate to Honiton has proven particularly controversial in Sidmouth, where it currently employs 400 people.
But council leader Councillor Paul Diviani said: “This is great news for residents, our staff and councillors.
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“The council has taken an important step forward in its commitment to being an even more cost-effective and successful local authority.”
Once it leaves its ‘not fit for purpose’ current HQ at Knowle, EDDC will be split between Honiton and Exmouth, where it is moving into the town hall to house the breadth of its customer services. Refurbishment of the Exmouth premises is currently under way.
Knowle could be redeveloped into a 113-home retirement community if developer PegasusLife’s plans are approved. They are set to be considered next month.