Building work begins on new district council HQ in Honiton

PUBLISHED: 11:00 23 September 2017 | UPDATED: 09:34 27 September 2017

East Devon District Council Leader, Cllr Paul Diviani (second right) and deputy leader, Cllr Phil Twiss (second left) join Paul Gale (left), regional director of contractors Interserve, and deputy chief executive, Richard Cohen (right) for a site visit to see how works are progressing. Picture: Contributed

East Devon District Council Leader, Cllr Paul Diviani (second right) and deputy leader, Cllr Phil Twiss (second left) join Paul Gale (left), regional director of contractors Interserve, and deputy chief executive, Richard Cohen (right) for a site visit to see how works are progressing. Picture: Contributed

Archant

Foundations have been laid and groundworks completed at the site in Heathpark Industrial Estate.

Proposed new headquarters for East Devon District Council.Proposed new headquarters for East Devon District Council.

Work has officially begun on East Devon District Council’s new Honiton headquarters.

Foundations have been laid and groundworks completed at the site in Heathpark Industrial Estate.

The council has earmarked December next year as the month for its staff to start working at the state-of-the-art HQ, which will house a new council chamber and meeting rooms.

The plans, which were approved in November last year, also included a cycle store, smoking shelter, staff car park and loading bay, with a provision for 135 car parking spaces and a pedestrian and cycle route from Exeter Road to the Heathpark estate.

The work is being carried out by contractors Interserve Construction Ltd, which says it is on schedule to finish the build in time.

Cllr Paul Diviani, leader of the East Devon District Council, gave his seal of approval after he viewed the construction site with deputy leader Cllr Phil Twiss.

Mr Diviani said: “As promised, we are delivering on our commitment to East Devon residents and businesses to provide a new headquarters in the heart of the district that will be cost effective, well designed and ensures the council is fit for the future.”

Earlier this year, the council decided that its relocation to Honiton could go ahead in the expectation of future sale of East Devon’s current office site at Knowle in Sidmouth, which is owned outright by the local authority.

Along with the construction work in Honiton, the council is currently investing in the modernisation of Exmouth Town Hall to provide future council services and the building is expected to reopen in November.

Once the move to Honiton is complete, the council will have a presence in its two largest towns, which it says will make its services ‘even more accessible’ to its residents.

The Honiton-based HQ is sited next to the council’s business centre, and will be contemporary in shape and balanced with more traditional elements of pitched roofs and brickwork.

Knowle’s sale and ultimate redevelopment will still take place in the future and the capital receipt will then be secured to part fund the relocation which will cost £10,361,000 in total.

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