• Skypark land for new EDDC offices to cost almost £1m … and independent survey not supported

    10th February 2014 | News | Claire
  • And the recommendation by the overview and scrutiny committee that an independent survey of the Knowle office buildings be allowed to take place, was apparently not supported by councillors.

    The issues were debated with the press and public excluded last Wednesday evening (5 February).

    Page 115 of the cabinet minutes state:  “Reference was made to the recommendations of the meeting of the overview and scrutiny Committee of 30 January 2014 which would be formally referred to the next meeting of cabinet. It was commented that the recommendations failed to reflect information that had already been published. “

    Page 116 of the cabinet minutes states that the all-conservative cabinet agreed to recommend to full council that the site is bought for a sum of £986,000 (exc VAT).

    This news is likely to worry many residents and some councillors further, that the costs of moving are getting out of control.

    A further recommendation in the cabinet minutes states that as an “immediate action” … “a marketing exercise be conducted to engage developer interest (for a amount which was disclosed at the meeting) and ascertain the values and variety of proposals for development on the Knowle and Manstone Depot sites.”

    It is more evidence that EDDC is ploughing ahead (now apparently at top speed) with its plans, regardless of the very valid concerns of local people, as well as the concerns of its own overview and scrutiny committee.

    I have lodged a motion for the full council meeting on 26 February, to defer the decision to move (below), pending a recommendation from the overview and scrutiny committee, to allow an independent surveyor to assess the state of the Knowle buildings.

    Here are the cabinet minutes of 5 February – http://www.eastdevon.gov.uk/cabinet_mins_050214.pdf

    Here’s a link to my motion to delay the decision. http://www.claire-wright.org/index.php/post/motion_to_move_an_independent_survey_of_the_knowle_buildings

    Photograph by Knowle Residents Association.