‘Important milestone’ reached in EDDC relocation

EDDC's Knowle HQ. Ref shs 7701-15-12SH Picture: Simon Horn

EDDC's Knowle HQ. Ref shs 7701-15-12SH Picture: Simon Horn - Credit: Archant

Plans for East Devon District Council (EDDC) to relocate from Sidmouth moved a step forward this week after the authority formalised the sale of its Knowle site.

Updating the council’s cabinet at a meeting on Wednesday, EDDC leader Paul Diviani said that contracts had been exchanged with retirement community developer Pegasus Life.

The firm is buying the existing council offices, which it plans to demolish, and 14 per cent of Knowle’s parkland.

The developer is proposing to transform the site into retirement housing for around 100 people and a bar/restaurant that would be open to the public.

The company’s offer of between £7million and £8million is conditional on it securing planning permission to redevelop the site.

Councillor Diviani said there was ‘still a long way to go’, but the exchange of contracts represented an ‘important milestone’ in the move, which will eventually see EDDC relocate to purpose-built facilities in Honiton and refurbished offices at Exmouth Town Hall.

The whole process is expected to take more than two years, with EDDC aiming to be set up in its new offices by October 2017.