The Cabinet will consider a report on Monday 1 June to enable another major milestone in the rejuvenation of Epping Town Centre.
They will consider the appointment of contractors for a £6m Civic Offices refurbishment scheme.
This will pave the way for new housing on the site of the adjacent 1960s Conder office block and rear carpark, bringing investment in jobs, the local economy, housing and public services to the town.
Lowest Council Tax in Essex
Income from housing sales and rents will meet public service cost, help maintain our record of the lowest Council Tax in Essex, and major savings will be made from maintenance on the ageing building.
This is all part of a phased strategic development plan – Epping Plus – bringing more market rent and affordable housing to Epping, homes for sale, a cinema, leisure centre, small businesses and public open space. Other key sites in the overall plan are at St John’s Road and Hemnall Street.
Kickstart the rejuvenation of the High Street and local economy
Leader of Council Cllr Chris Whitbread said:
As we start to plan the post COVID-19 recovery phase, this investment will help to kickstart the rejuvenation of the High Street and local economy.
This is a continuation of a very successful policy which has seen our council increasingly fund public services through income from investments such as Epping Forest Retail Park and North Weald Airfield.
The policy has allowed us to freeze Council Tax in 9 of the last 10 years while continuing to invest in new services such as the new Waltham Abbey Leisure Centre.
We believe there has never been a better time for the council to invest in the health and revitalisation of Epping and its economy. It’s a coordinated plan that starts with the refurbishment of the council offices, bringing jobs, people and investment to the town, just at the time it needs it most – in the post-coronavirus recovery period.
Cost / benefit analysis
Our cost / benefit analysis shows the greatest benefits would come from a total refurbishment of the Civic Offices, saving the cost of building new offices, alongside efficiency and environmental benefits and collaborative space for our partners and small businesses.
Retaining the Civic Offices as they are would cost around £3m in essential works and a further £200k annually in maintaining the Conder building.
Redeveloping this site through the new development company Qualis will yield an estimated gross development value of £14.6m, while the newly created business space in the Civic Offices could provide up to £250k rental income a year.
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