Keith has designs on ‘non spectacular’ council HQ

A 3D model of Keith’s plans for the new EDDC offices

A 3D model of Keith’s plans for the new EDDC offices - Credit: Archant

An East Devon resident frustrated with the district council’s relocation plans has taken it upon himself to help the authority with its move – by designing the new offices himself.

Keith Konopka spent some 300 hours on the project, which he completed using software on his home computer, before submitting the finished drawings to East Devon District Council (EDDC).

His vision for the new HQ features 3,400 square metres of office space, rooftop solar panels, and is designed with cost in mind.

Keith, from Whimple, said: “The end result is an energy efficient, low maintenance building constructed to last but which could be easily extended should the need ever arise. I wanted to try and keep it non-spectacular – pleasant, but nothing that might offend people.”

EDDC announced SkyPark as the preferred location for its new offices in February.

Keith has followed the story of the relocation for years and had ‘watched with frustration’ as the move was ‘bulldozed through’.

He penned a strongly worded letter to EDDC when he heard that the authority’s leadership had toured the elaborate, glass-fronted Met Office building for inspiration.

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Keith said that, even with his limited computer skills, he could design a practical, cost-efficient facility that would not cost an ‘outrageous’ amount of taxpayers’ money.

Richard Cohen, EDDC’s deputy chief executive, said: “We appreciate the time and effort Mr Konopka spent preparing these drawings and the level of detail.

“Decisions taken by the council have been subject to extensive debate based on detailed reports including options, risk awareness and financial consideration.

“Wherever the council locates its new headquarters, it will be open for business for its residents either face-to-face or through better digital services and an appropriate presence across the district.”