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The council’s site in Military Road

Council HQ could be demolished to make way for more housing

Canterbury City Council could abandon its headquarters and allow the site to be redeveloped for housing.

The authority admits that the Military Road building and car park no longer meets its needs and is too much underused.

A move away from the offices which have served the council since the 1970s could happen within five years.

Meanwhile, the council would be able to allocate the land to for development as housing as its strives to meet a target of at least 800 new homes per year until 2031.

A report outlining the proposals will go before the council’s policy and resources committee next week.

Deputy chief exec Tricia Marshall

Written by deputy chief executive Tricia Marshall, it states that around 45% of the Military Road building is not used due to “poor design” with long corridors and empty spaces such as courtyards.

The report goes on: “The current council office building is no longer fit for purpose due to the increasing high operational and maintenance costs such as poor insulation, a
failing heating system, replacement of windows will be required.

“A new building would be fit for purpose, modern and energy efficient with lower
running costs.

“By reducing the office space, land can be released for new housing, helping to achieve our housing targets and provide affordable housing for residents”

The report adds that money saved from running costs for the building could be used for frontline services.

It estimates that the process to find a new location and build new offices could be complete by late 2022 or earl 2023.

Ms Marshall’s report will be discussed by the policy and resources committee at its meeting in the Guildhall at 7pm on Wednesday, November 14. The meeting is open to the public.

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2 responses to “Council HQ could be demolished to make way for more housing”

  1. Alan Thomas says:

    Why not ask Mark Quinn to build the new offices in return for planning permission to develope the existing site? Isn’t that the way things are done now???

  2. Nick Blake says:

    I like your reply above Alan. I was wondering that, with the current and long term downturn in the retail sector, predicted to decrease by 40%, whether it would make sense for the Council to occupy part of Whitefriars, that they thoughtfully bought for us?

    We think we are “green ” but we build structures which either wear out or become unsuitable very quickly. All the student blocks seem to have a limited life. Even the well built and well maintained accommodation at Howe Barracks was completely torn down rather than converted. It included flats which could have provided affordable housing. Instead we will get from Taylor Wimpey dull little boxes, just the same as they build anywhere else because a firm like that does not have the imagination to convert.

    Of course we have City council policies in the Local Plan asking for “good design” but they seem worn out as well. We do not get good design as our Planning Department does not insist on it. All we get is a standard unimaginative “product”.

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