Your views sought on future of Camden Town Hall annexe
I am writing to highlight to Ham& High readers, as valued members of the local community, to explain more about the Council s plans for the site of the Camden Town Hall Annexe. The current building was built in 1974 and now, 35 years later, many services
I am writing to highlight to Ham& High readers, as valued members of the local community, to explain more about the Council's plans for the site of the Camden Town Hall Annexe.
The current building was built in 1974 and now, 35 years later, many services such as the lifts, electrical, heating and drainage systems are reaching the end of their useful lives. This leaves the council facing an estimated repair bill of �15m, one we are determined that should not be bourne by local taxpayers.
The building is also expensive to run and doesn't meet environmental standards, producing a larger carbon footprint than modern office buildings.
This is why we have embarked on a process to find the best and most cost efficient way of meeting our goals of better access to services for residents and more efficient and environmentally friendly workplaces for our staff.
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As the first part of this process we are now seeking expressions of interest from commercial property developers to purchase the site outright from the Council. This does not commit us to a sale and we will only proceed if this option makes economic sense.
If we do proceed with a sale, we will ensure that any deal includes a clause that means the council shares in the benefits of any future rises in property values, which will ultimately benefit the taxpayer. We will also continue to be based in the local area delivering a full range of council services, including a library.
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In effect we are seeking to take advantage of the current competitive property market to purchase modern, efficient, environmentally-friendly offices, whilst securing the redevelopment of the site for a time when the market will have recovered.
Any such proposal will need to pass through the planning process which will include full consultation with residents. The need to negotiate the best possible deal and the length of the planning process means that works could not start on site until the end of 2011 at the very earliest. I know that the possible disruption caused by a major construction project will be a concern to local residents. We will use the time between the sale of the site and the start of any redevelopment to work with the companies involved to ensure that these disruptions are kept to a very minimum.
We will also ensure that we keep the local community and stakeholders informed of progress throughout the project.
Cllr Keith Moffitt
Leader, Camden Council
Cllr Andrew Marshall
Deputy Leader, Camden Council