Council claims extra £1.5million in sale of former Knowle HQ

East Devon District Council offices at The Knowle. Ref shs 03 19TI 8509. Picture: Terry Ife

East Devon District Council offices at The Knowle. Ref shs 03 19TI 8509. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

The district council says it will receive an extra £1.5million for the sale of its former Knowle headquarters to developer PegasusLife.

The base price of £7.5million has been a matter of public record for some time, but East Devon District Council (EDDC) has now revealed it has secured additional capital as part of its agreement with PegasusLife.

A spokesman for the authority said: "The additional sums now to be paid to the council comprise 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.

"These amount to £1,095,855 and £418,750 respectively.

"Therefore the total capital receipt for the sale of the Knowle has risen from £7,505,000 to £9,019,605."

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The council said it wanted to address 'misinformed media speculation' about the value of the Sidmouth site.

A figure of £50m has been reported, but council said the figure is the projected total sale receipts of all the residences in a completed new development on its former office site.

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The spokesman added: "This figure doesn't take account of any of the costs of development such as planning, design, surveys, professional fees, borrowing costs and the actual construction costs themselves."

Knowle has now been cleared of thousands of items of furniture, equipment and memorabilia.

At the request of Sidmouth Museum, historical artefacts, such as fireplaces and decorative tiles have been removed and either have been or will be delivered to the museum's premises.

Until PegasusLife takes ownership, the council is continuing daily security patrols of the site and carrying out grounds maintenance, as well as monitoring the building's condition

EDDC's deputy chief executive, Richard Cohen, said: "In different ways this is a new era for the council and our move to modern offices is key to the council's plans for cost effective and outstanding service delivery into the future.

"It is a credit to our staff that the move itself was seamless and their commitment and professionalism is as strong as ever in their new and much improved work space.

"To our customers, our council offices are now more accessible and easy to reach and we continue to improve our services and the different ways that people can contact us face to face, online or over the phone."

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