New council homes will be built on the former Tendring District Council (TDC) offices in Weeley.
As part of TDC’s Transformation Project – which also included digital, customer service and office refurbishment strands – services have been moved out of the site and consolidated within existing, refurbished offices in Clacton.
The original intention of the Transformation Project was simply to sell the entire site on the open market, with cash from the sale back-funding the overall project.
Now, following a decision made by Cabinet today (Friday, 17 December), TDC will allocate the site for planning purposes, which opens the door to construction of housing.
A further decision is anticipated early in the New Year to choose a development partner who will, subject to further decisions, construct new housing – including a number of new council homes which will continue to be owned by TDC as part of the deal, helping to meet the district’s need for such accommodation.
The site is allocated for housing under Section Two of the district’s Local Plan, which Planning Inspectors have recently found sound and are due to be formally adopted early in the New Year.
Neil Stock OBE, TDC Leader, said the move would help both dispose of the former office site and deliver against the council’s strategy of building more homes.
“It has long been our plan to close down the Weeley offices and rationalise our workspace into fewer buildings – which are then easier to maintain, more environmentally friendly and ultimately which deliver a better service to our residents,” Councillor Stock said.
“I am also very conscious of ensuring that we mark the legacy of the Weeley site; the council offices were built in 1939 and served the former Tendring Rural District Council until it was absorbed into the new Tendring District Council in 1974. The Weeley offices have served this district for very many years, and I do think we have a duty to ensure that the future use of the site will be for the betterment of the area; rather than just selling it off to the highest bidder.
“This new approach to disposing of the site achieves the best use of the site going forward, and also helps us to deliver more much-needed housing for those on our waiting list, supporting Tendring residents and families.“Detailed design work and planning permission will be required before work can start, and I am keen for this to progress as quickly as possible.”