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Delays to selling of the Knowle

R J Thurlow made this Freedom of Information request to East Devon District Council

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Dear East Devon District Council,

I would like to make a formal request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. I am also making this Request under the Environmental Impact Regulations 2004 which require disclosure on the part of Local Authorities.

EDDC vacated the Knowle in February 2019. Pegasus agreed to buy it but have not yet taken possession. Please let me know the reasons for this delay, and the additional costs that this delay has caused EDDC and therefore the public, in terms of

Additional security costs
Additional Interest costs in Capital borrowing since Pegasus has not completed their purchase
Any other additional costs

Yours faithfully,

R J Thurlow

East Devon District Council

Thank you for submitting a request for information. We will respond to
your request as quickly as possible, within the 20 working day statutory
deadline under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

For updates on this case, please quote your unique reference number
101000926664 .

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FOI EDDC, East Devon District Council

Dear Mr Thurlow,

 

Thank you for your request for information. Please find the response to
your query below.

 

While the Council is not obliged to give reasons or explanation when
answering an FOI request, we understand the merit in doing so in this
case. Since the council has vacated the Knowle it has been involved in a
variety of actions whilst retaining possession of the building.  Making
safe for clearance (e.g. asbestos testing) has taken up some time followed
by a series of clearance phases were undertaken.  This included extensive
disposal of 1,000s of items including to public and local charitable
organisations.  Numerous items have also found their way to Sidmouth
Museum.  Rather than PegasusLife the council took responsibility for the
removal of fireplaces for Sidmouth Museum and this involved the
commissioning of appropriately skilled technicians and further asbestos
survey work.

 

The council will be completing transfer of the Knowle to PegasusLife by
negotiated agreement on 18 December 2019.  At that time we will receive
both the base price payment of £7,505,000 and an additional capital sum on
top of the base price that reflects indexation and a percentage of monies
that PegasusLife had set aside for S106 commitments but which were
uncommitted.  This amounts to £1,095,855 and £418,750 respectively.

 

Therefore the total capital receipt for the sale of the Knowle has risen
from £7,505,000 to £9,019,605.

 

As there was no set date for completion it is not possible to give a
global sum for additional costs. However, on a month by month basis the
council is incurring the following costs associated with the Knowle:

•            Security                           £I,046

•            Energy                              £1,118

•            Business rates                 £10,815

•            Insurance                         £834

 

For the three month period from Sep 18 to Dec 18 2019 we have agreed with
PegasusLife that they will pay half these costs.

 

On the question of ‘additional Interest costs in Capital borrowing’ the
Council has not taken out any additional borrowing for the relocation
project and nor will it need to do so.  The council has used its own
existing cash resources instead.

 

 

I hope this information is helpful but, if you feel dissatisfied with the
way we have responded to your request, please contact our Monitoring
Officer, Mr Henry Gordon Lennox, to request an internal review
[email address]

 

You may also approach the Information Commissioner for advice at
www.ico.org.uk

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Sara

 

Ms S Harvey

Information and Complaints Officer

East Devon District Council

 

[1][email address]

01395 571659

www.eastdevon.gov.uk

 

Follow us on [2]Facebook and [3]Twitter

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