Coastal: Council set to move its HQ to save money

Suffolk Coastal District Council

Suffolk Coastal District Council - Credit: Archant

One of Suffolk’s district councils is considering moving its offices to save money and provide a more modern working environment for its staff.

Suffolk Coastal, which has been based at its Melton Hill centre in Woodbridge since the authority was established in 1974 under local government reorganisation, says its offices are unfit for purpose and need huge investment to bring them up to standard.

It is understood that the council would aim to move in the next three or four years.

Cabinet members will consider a report on the options for the relocation of the council offices on July 16.

Councillors have already decided to sell another council property, Cedar House, Melton, and this will go on the market soon.

Robert Whiting, cabinet member for resources, said: “The council for some time has been considering the need to review its accommodation and to ensure that moving forward it is fit for purpose.

“Part of this process will need to support and deliver efficient and effective management of the council offices and also provide suitable access and availability to services.

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“The council has started to explore options for future office accommodation that will meet the needs of a modern and progressive council.

“Any potential option will need to deliver value for money in terms of future office provision compared to existing costs and future liabilities associated with the current Melton Hill complex

“Previous consultant reports indicate that the existing premises at Melton Hill are no longer fit for purpose and require considerable expenditure to comply with modern standards, legislation and no longer meet the council’s requirements in terms of delivery of service and best value.”

A project board, comprising senior councillors and officers, has been set up to steer the project.

It is expected that the council will keep its offices in the Woodbridge area, as this is the central part of the district, which stretches from Walberswick in the north to Felixstowe in the south, with good road access via the A12. At this stage all options will be considered and no decisions have yet been taken.