New Council HQ gets planning go-ahead
Plans for a smaller, more cost-effective County headquarters have been granted planning permission, with only one objection lodged by the public.
According to a council press release, the headquarters in Ashington will save the authority £630,000 a year and almost £16m over the next 25 years – compared to staying at its current site.
Construction could start as early as October 2016, with staff moving in by end of 2018.
The overall development will include office space, a customer service centre next to the main entrance, conference facilities, publicly accessible meeting rooms and a cafe and rest room that can accommodate public access.
Council Leader Grant Davey said: “This is a welcome next step in our market towns initiative to regenerate and improve Northumberland’s towns. The fact that planners received just one objection from the public shows the proposals have been well received by residents from the town and the wider area.”
This is part of the council’s strategy to safeguard frontline services while it needs to save £58 million from its budget over the next four years.