Shared Lowestoft council office project discussed

PUBLISHED: 17:39 18 February 2013 | UPDATED: 17:39 18 February 2013

Lowestoft Town Hall, High street, Lowestoft.  Picture: Nick Butcher

Lowestoft Town Hall, High street, Lowestoft. Picture: Nick Butcher

© Archant 2012

Councillors have run the rule over plans to build a £13.65m shared office accommodation block for Lowestoft which has created fears over the future of the town’s seat of democracy.

This afternoon saw the first meeting of the Lowestoft shared accommodation joint committee made up of two Waveney District councillors, Mike Barnard and Gareth Douce, and Suffolk County councillors Lisa Chambers and Mary Rudd.

The committee was given a briefing on the plans to close and relocate 10 council offices in Lowestoft, including the town hall, into one building at Riverside Road to save the tax payer £3m over 10 years in maintenance costs.

Peter Revell, project manager, said the £13.6m building will be occupied by Waveney District and Suffolk County councils by March 2015 with the shared customer base at the Marina Centre completed by December 2015.

Mr Revell said: “The existing premises will be vacated and disposed off or alternative uses found as appropriate.

“We have had various public interest, a public petition - save the town hall.”

Both councils have each pledged £6.8m to the project and so far £49,000 has been spent.

LSI Architects have been appointed as designer and the main contractor is expected to come on board by the end of March with work starting on the shared building in December 2013.

Mr Barnard, who was elected as the chairman of the monthly committee, said the project would benefit taxpayers. He said: “If we work closer together it will be better for all.”

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