EDDC looks across region for new home

The EDDC offices at Knowle in Sidmouth as it is today. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shs 7705-15-12SH To

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 www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on myphotos24 - Credit: Archant

Landowners from across the region are being asked if they can provide a location for the district council as it looks to move out of Sidmouth, writes Stephen Sumner.

The authority’s cabinet and full council have come to the conclusion that its current HQ at Knowle is ‘not fit for purpose’ or financially sustainable.

Planning bosses are now looking at Cranbrook and Honiton, but also casting the net wide to consider other sites - and the preferred options should be put before the cabinet before Christmas. Council leader Paul Diviani said: “We are keen to make sure we have fully explored all the options available.

“At our stakeholder event on July 26 we heard suggestions about a number of other places that the council might move to and we were clear that we would consider all the options and weigh up the pros and cons before coming to a shortlist.

“Equally, the council is also going to look at how it can be even more accessible to residents and businesses across the district.

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“The relocation of its HQ is part of the council’s work to provide outstanding services to all. Most of our customers prefer to contact us by phone and increasingly online.

“We will not only be moving office but changing the ways we work to increase access to the council and strengthen our availability in our towns across the district in line with local needs and expectations.”

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An executive group of selected cabinet members, senior officers and the project manager has been assembled to keep the project on track.

East Devon District Council bosses hope to have moved into their new HQ by July 2016.

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