Rob Longhurst
East Devon District Council Office Move
Judge orders release of FOI papers - judge backs release of information regarding the relocation of offices from the Knowle - EDDC slammed for delaying -
Judge backs release of information.   The judges final comments: "
This Tribunal takes the unusual and unfortunate step of commenting on the conduct of the appeal itself.
We are unanimous in our view that this appeal has taken much longer than it should have done and the reason for this seems to be the failure on the part of the public
authority, the appellant, to address itself with sufficient attention to the details of what information and documents it was supplying to the Commissioner and ultimately also
to the Tribunal. It was not until March 2015 that a fully legible copy of the disputed information was supplied and seemed to be complete. This is, in our collective
experience, wholly exceptional and the time spent dealing with what we believe to be five different sets of disputed information is simply not a good use of the Tribunal’s
time nor fair, in terms of delay, to the requester. Correspondence on behalf of the Council, rather than ensuring the Tribunal was assisted in its function, was at times
discourteous and unhelpful including the statement that we had the most legible copies possible. A statement, which was clearly inaccurate as subsequently, we have been
provided with perfectly legible documents. We believe this appeal could and should have been dealt with completely at the hearing in August 2014 and the decision
promulgated six months ago had the Council discharged its responsibilities properly
."
What can you say to that!! And additionally it's another £11,000 of our money wasted on legal fees!!
This was only just short of accusing your council of "Perjury", "Perverting the Course of Justice" and "Contempt of Court" - in any private company someone (the CEO) would
have had to resign - not in EDDC!
On Wednesday 3rd June, as expected, the Tory majority at EDDC voted down the proposal put by the Independent Group to delay the sale of the Knowle by 6 months.  Not
one Tory voted for the delay - one has to assume they had read all the papers and had a full knowledge of the background to them!! (That was pretty clever as much of the
detail is held under "Confidential" status and is not available to most of the Members!)
Hey ho here we go again - total disregard for the public.
We wait to see what transpires - this is the proposed timetable - speculative?
Provisional relocation/Knowle sale timetable
• June 2015 – East Devon is due to exchange contracts with Pegasus Life Ltd – the developer which has been selected to purchase and develop Knowle. Pegasus
specialises in providing retirement homes and extra care facilities, for which there is huge demand in Sidmouth.
• July 2015 – design team due to be appointed.
• September 2015 –construction contractor due to be appointed.
• May 2016 – Heathpark and Exmouth (if necessary) planning applications to be considered.
• June 2016 – Pegasus planning application to be considered.
• July 2016 – Council will review planning decisions.
• August 2016 – Work due to begin on Heathpark and Exmouth town hall.
• October 2017 – Council due to move offices
This means a 15 month construction and move programme for the new offices at Heathpark; quite a commitment!

Old links below:-
Mr Jeremy Woodward's statement to the Press 25th May 2015
Pulman's View
Cabinet Minute 11-March-2015
Main Report to Cabinet
Minute of Full Council 25th March 2015
Office Move & Sale of The Knowle