Council makes U-turn on HQ plans
AFTER weeks of indecision councillors made a U-turn yesterday on new local authority headquarters.
Only two weeks ago we reported how councillors rejected plans amid fears about flooding. Planning officers spent more than five months preparing proposals for a new £8 million HQ at The Rhadyr site of Coleg Gwent's Usk campus, only to have them refused by Monmouthshire County Council's planning committee on September 21.
A letter from the Environment Agency claiming the flood risk to the site was unacceptable, raised concerns among councillors and the set back became the latest in a load of complications over the new headquarters.
An earlier £18 million scheme was scrapped in January because of spiralling costs before the smaller scheme was decided upon.
Outline planning permission for the £8 million complex was finally granted, after further discussions with the Environment Agency led them to withdraw their objections.
The council must move out of its current County Hall headquarters in Cwmbran by March 2012 because the building has concrete cancer.
The new 37,674 square foot headquarters will have space for 100 desks, plus a car park with 183 spaces.
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