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Further £2.1m to revamp more of Norfolk’s County Hall

Norfolk County Council headquarters. County Hall Martineau Lane, Norwich. Photo: Steve Adams

Norfolk County Council headquarters. County Hall Martineau Lane, Norwich. Photo: Steve Adams

A further £2.1m is to be spent revamping the headquarters of Norfolk County Council, after a decision was taken midway through the project to extend the scope of the work.

At a time when the council is making £42m of savings, which will include up to 70 staff losing their jobs, even more of County Hall is being refurbished - with the hope income can be generated by leasing out part of the Martineau Lane building.

The renovation project started in 2013, after blocks of masonry fell from the 1960s building.

The revamp was initially due to cost just over £22m, but the price soared by £10m more because the original repair programme assumed existing insulation, heating and lighting would be replaced with similar systems.

A decision was taken to instead replace them with solar photovoltaic panels and energy efficient LED lighting, funded from money already in the council’s Carbon Energy Reduction Fund.

The council has spent £29.8m against a budget of £33m, with the current programme of work due to be completed in the spring.

But, midway through the scheme it was decided to add areas of County Hall which were not due to be refurbished - the north and south wings. And, in last week’s budget, a further £2.1m was allocated for those sections to be revamped.

A spokeswoman for Norfolk County Council. said: “The north and south wings were excluded from the original programme of work because these areas did not suffer from the significant structural problems identified in the main building.

“The work on the north wing and the remainder of the south wing, now agreed, are separate to the original County Hall programme. The building works will be tendered and a new contract will be put in place with the successful bidder.”

Part of the work is to modernise the upper floors in the north wing for leasing out.

Jonathan Dunning, branch secretary for UNISON at County Hall, questioned whether the final cost of would have made it cheaper to have moved.

But he said: “The benefits to staff have become apparent in terms of allowing more staff to be based in County Hall and I think the majority of staff would agree that it has made things better.”

• What do you think? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk

10 comments

  • I used to take my daughter to the Broadland Business Park because the Park & Ride was so poor. You had to walk over the A47 to get there because of the way the busses ran. Is the County Council office owned or leased???

    Report this comment

    Andy T

    Monday, March 7, 2016

  • its not there money , so why do they care ... just remember at next election

    Report this comment

    Norwich

    Tuesday, March 1, 2016

  • It would be no more difficult to get to Broadland park than it is to get to Martineau lane, probably easier given the congestion in that area.

    Report this comment

    John L Norton

    Tuesday, March 1, 2016

  • Superficially the idea of demolishing County Hall and replacing it with housing is plausible, but superficial is all it is. In fact, rather silly. There are NCC services which involve visits by members of the public to County Hall. Why should users of Council services be obliged to venture out to the wasteland of Thorpe Park, especially those who do not have cars? The Martineau Lane building is reasonably accessible to the railway station and buses. On the other hand, it is rather short-sighted of the Council not to have included the extremities in the re-vamp from the start. After all, they were the parts that looked particularly decrepit.

    Report this comment

    Arcate

    Tuesday, March 1, 2016

  • Anyone know just what size of building you could build with £33 million? I should it think it would be quite large.

    Report this comment

    Resident Smith

    Tuesday, March 1, 2016

  • If their bid for devolution succeeds, won't they want to build expensive nee offices anyway? Why do they consistently prove they are incapable of taking on more powers? Or working to budget for that matter? They will always overspend until their jobs are at stake if they overspend.

    Report this comment

    andy

    Tuesday, March 1, 2016

  • They have built a “Compost Demonstration Area” just near the Aircraft. I was under the impression that NCC staff did not need any training to produce such a thing, perhaps they can not get the right staff and now have to train them to produce it.

    Report this comment

    turnover

    Tuesday, March 1, 2016

  • The top floor has been empty for years so why wasn't it included in the first place? unbelievable waste of taxpayers money!

    Report this comment

    Nowhere man

    Tuesday, March 1, 2016

  • Good comments, John. And who would put money on the NDR being on budget? Or going a good bit over £200million? "Oh, but we didn't include the cost of roundabouts ... "

    Report this comment

    Patrick

    Tuesday, March 1, 2016

  • It should have been knocked down to provide housing with some green spaces and a purpose built there and out of town offices should have been constructed, perhaps on the Broadland Business Park where they would be able to look out of the windows at the horrendous mess they have made of the Postwick junction and the miles of countryside they have destroyed for the road to no where.

    Report this comment

    John L Norton

    Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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