Knowle sale finally goes through after council takes legal action

The sale of EDDC's former Knowle headquarters has been delayed. Ref shs 03 19TI 8509. Picture: Terry

The sale of EDDC's former Knowle headquarters has been delayed. Ref shs 03 19TI 8509. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

The multi-mllion sale of the Knowle, East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) former HQ has officially gone through, after months of delays.

PegasusLife, now known as LifeStory, officially owns the site after the authority took legal action to force it to cough up the money for the site.

EDDC also received an additional £38,000 as penalty for the late payment.

The council received the outstanding money for the purchase of the Knowle site on Tuesday, January 12.

The full purchase price to be paid was £9,019,605 and so having already received a deposit of £375,250, the council received the balance of the sum, amounting to £8,644,355.

The original sale price of Knowle was £7,505,000.

But, the council received an extra £1.5million for the sale - a sum due to inflation, as well as a percentage of the money that PegasusLife had set aside for section 103 contributions, which were ultimately uncommitted in the planning process.

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The developer had been under contract to make full payment by December 18 2019, but failed to meet that deadline.

This prompted the council to bring legal proceedings to secure the agreed and contracted payment as well as seeking associated costs and damages.

PegasusLife responded at the time to say that it expected to secure funds and it would be in a position to make the payment by January 14 2020.

An EDDC spokesman said: "East Devon is pleased that PegasusLife has now made full payment and taken ownership of the site.

"The council understands that PegasusLife will make security arrangements for the site going forward and wishes PegasusLife every success with their future plans.

"This is an important outcome for East Devon.

"Relocation from Sidmouth to modern and flexible office spaces in Honiton is a key part of the council's commitment to smarter working, energy efficiency, excellent customer service and being fit for purpose and fit for the future."

In March 2020 the council will consider a full project closure report, which will review the first year after leaving Knowle and full operation of the council's new build and modernised offices.