Background documents relating to the council's sale of Knowle and office relocation are now online

Council honours its commitment to release records about proposed office move

East Devon District Council is holding true to its word and has today published online a first phase of key historical background documents relating to its proposed move from its current offices at Knowle in Sidmouth. The information contained within the documents forms a historical record and audit trail, which covers the council’s formal decision to sell the Knowle site and relocate its offices to Honiton and Exmouth.

It was always our intention to publish these documents as fully as possible and we do so now because we are in a position to publically deliver information, which had previously been considered confidential due to its sensitive content.

The fact that the published documents contain some redacted (blacked out) words reflects the need for a degree of continued privacy, particularly in relation to protecting the commercial confidence of third party interests - not the council itself.

However, it should be noted that the council has for a while now been consistently reporting project progress and in public, as well as debating its decisions openly and will continue to do so.

What the documents contain

As might be expected from documents relating to such a complex topic, the papers cover a broad range of general subject matter including discussions that were held, as well as a number of different options that were considered but not pursued. Part of the content is analysis – most of which is now irrelevant and out of date, due to changing markets and economic conditions. So it is important that anyone reading the material bears in mind that the documents are a record of such things as operating costs, development costs and land values – now largely out of date - covering the first phase of the project from 2009-2013.

Other documents to be published

We are still awaiting the opportunity to publish specific reports from 2009-2013 that are subject to the timetable and final decision of the Information Tribunal. When that process has been concluded, we will add these reports to the others that have been published.

The absence of these reports will be apparent when viewing the published documents, as they will be shown as a line and a title (without a hyperlink) in the attached chronology, which shows where a document will go when it is released.

The reports can be found online here: /council-and-democracy/council-business/moving-and-improving/project-document-archive/