Cranbrook could house new council HQ
17 July 2013 Last updated at 23:31
Members of a Devon council have voted unanimously in favour of a possible move to Cranbrook, Devon's newest town.
East Devon District Council is currently based in a former Victorian hotel in the seaside resort of Sidmouth. But officers have recommended relocating because of the high cost of maintaining the buildings.
New locations being considered are Cranbrook, which is still being completed, and Honiton. The council's cabinet voted in favour of the move at a meeting earlier. The council said further work would now be done to investigate new sites, with parts of the current site likely to be sold for housing.'Money down drain'
Knowle Park public space could be handed over to Sidmouth Town Council.
The council said the move would not add to residents' council tax and would help to reduce the "running costs" of the council by £160,000 a year. It said it would also save £55,000 a year in energy costs.
Conservative Paul Diviani, East Devon District Council leader, said: "All the evidence suggests that trying to stay at Knowle is like pouring taxpayers' money down the drain. "The current buildings need over £1.5m spending on them in essential repairs alone.
"Exploring the Honiton and Cranbrook options... gives us the opportunity to provide modern offices which are low cost to run and give taxpayers across East Devon value for money."
Kelvin Dent, an Independent member of Sidmouth Town Council, said: "I think it would be a pity if East Devon District Council were to move out of the Victorian hotel and/or the offices which were erected in the 1970s behind it.
"Which council in its right mind, in these times of economic difficulty, would seriously consider building new offices anyway?"
In the last couple of weeks there has been further news about the development of the new town:
First building at Exeter Science Park in UK tops out
The first building at the 26-hectare Exeter Science Park in the UK topped out recently and is scheduled to be completed in October 2013.
Designed by Exeter-based architect, Lacey Hickie Caley and being built by Interserve Construction, the building is certified with BREEAM Excellent rating. The 100m² three-storey facility will provide up to 500m2 accommodation for small and medium-sized businesses on the ground floor.
Sustainable features of the building include photovoltaic panels on the roof, natural ventilation and high levels of insulation to reduce energy use. The building will also link the district heating systems planned for the Exeter and East Devon Growth Point.
Located next to Junction 29 of the M5 motorway, the 76,000m2 Exeter Science Park is expected to become significant investment in the South West's expanding knowledge economy. The Phase 1 of Exeter Science Park scheme will also provide for a 150-bed business hotel and conference centre, the Science Park Centre and a further 4,000 m2 of space.
Sainsbury’s pulls out of south west mega shed
Sainsbury’s has pulled out of plans to build a 528,000 sq ft distribution centre in Devon following a review of its logistics.
The supermarket giant is reviewing its logistics network. Sainsbury’s and East Devon District Council brought forward plans to develop a site near Exeter airport and an outline planning consent was granted in September 2011.
“Although this news is disappointing, our research shows that there could be future demand for a depot in this location. We are therefore currently working with East Devon District Council to review our options.”
As well as the 29 acre main site, Sainsbury’s has a further seven acres of land which it now intends to sell.
Around 450 jobs were expected to be created once the depot was fully up and running. The facility was the first phase in the long-awaited Intermodal Freight Facility, known as Exeter Gateway, which forms part of the Exeter & East Devon Growth Point.Sainsbury’s pulls out of south west mega shed - News - Logistics Manager
Sainsbury's calls a halt to regional depot | This is Cornwall
Indeed, concerns were voiced early on:
An honest look at Cranbrook and ‘growth point’
And earlier still:
How many more Cranbrooks are to be built before we wake up to the damage to our green and pleasant land . The area is grassy, well farmed. Food producing the most important commodity for man. If we continue as we do, the remainder of agricultural land will become less to feed an ever growing population. Consequently land will be forced beyond its natural capability. This is happening already. Have we thought about the future generations. There is a huge area of land that does not produce anything and a little wild life with as much aggregate on the spot woodbury common and many other similar sites
Work starts on East Devon’s new town of Cranbrook | Communities Before Developers
Cranbrook, exciting new eco-town? | Sidmouth Independent News
Planning free-for-all in East Devon? Almost certainly, yes | Sidmouth Independent News
Cranbrook gets special treatment for Community Infrastructure Levy | Sidmouth Independent News
Cranbrook sewage | Sidmouth Independent News
EDDC Leader says Cranbrook won’t be sold to local authorities – can we be sure? | Sidmouth Independent News
Congratulations | Sidmouth Independent News
Double whammy for Cranbrook | Sidmouth Independent News
We want one … but only Cranbrook gets one | Sidmouth Independent News