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.

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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.”

8 comments

  • £49000 spent already? That must be for consultants then?

    Report this comment

    Dave01

    Tuesday, February 19, 2013

  • Perhaps the council would like to publish the details of the costs and cost savings so that the local tax payers are able to see the councils transparent argument for spending such a large amount of money to give them what they already have at the town hall. What is wrong with the current town hall offices, and why do the council need to move?

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    CC

    Sunday, February 24, 2013

  • So much for the protests by some individuals standing around outside the Town Hall with their banners. Their protests were bound to be ignored, the new offices near Riverside Road was already a done deal. Many WDC councillors have wanted this since the Waveney Campus project failed.

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    Port Watcher

    Tuesday, February 19, 2013

  • In a time of cut backs, spending at least £13.6m now to 'save' £3m over 10 years doesn't make any economic sense what-so-ever... the councillors seem to be in a dream world of their own imagination and parallel reality....

    Report this comment

    Dave01

    Monday, February 18, 2013

  • The projects illustrated on LSI Architects' website are not at all encouraging - hardly great design. I wonder how they were selected and by whom? Was there a competition? The economics of this proposal makes as little sense to me as it does to Dave01.

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    point du jour

    Monday, February 18, 2013

  • So much for the protests by some individuals standing around outside the Town Hall with their banners. Their protests were bound to be ignored, the new offices near Riverside Road was already a done deal. Many WDC councillors have wanted this since the Waveney Campus project failed.

    Report this comment

    Port Watcher

    Tuesday, February 19, 2013

  • Their development plans are all wrong anyway, not that they would ever listen. The riverside access should be allocated to 'marine activity'. First we had an ASDA built on a key Quayside site, now Essex and Suffolk Water have been granted permission to relocate to Riverside followed by WDC. You can see what will happen next, they will build up the route to the logical approach for any third river crossing and then block any crossing proposal due to noise i.e. it might wake them up, sorry I mean it might disturb their work.. You would think that since 1st East had gone (and their spine road through what was an existing factory site proposal) that sense would prevail, unfortunately not. I know of at least one company who have dismissed Lowestoft as a popential marine development site, to be honest I don't blame them.

    Report this comment

    Dave01

    Tuesday, February 19, 2013

  • Mr Revell said: “The existing premises will be vacated and disposed off or alternative uses found as appropriate." My money is on 'sell to a developer, leave to fall into dereliction, then demolish and build something ghastly in its place'. See the grade 2 listed former County Hall in Ipswich for the precedent on the dereliction.

    Report this comment

    point du jour

    Monday, February 18, 2013

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

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