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Craven District Council still paying for old HQ year after move
Craven District Council is still paying business rates and insurance on its former offices - despite moving out more than a year ago.
The council, which moved from Granville Street to Belle Vue Mills, Broughton Road, in September last year, has also been paying £200 a week since the middle of September this year for a security firm to protect the semi-derelict site against vandals.
In February, the council gave planning permission for housebuilder Lovell to demolish the Granville Street offices and redevelop the site with 57 houses, apartments and flats.
The council is believed to have agreed to the sale of the site for around £1.1 million, but will not receive any money until the signing of legal agreements, which is also holding up the start of work.
In the meantime, the council, as legal owner of the site, remains responsible for business rates, of around £23,000 per year, insurance, and the cost of security.
Meanwhile, Lovells said this week that it was in the process of finalising design details of the scheme and hoped to start work in the new year.
A spokesman said: “Plans for the new residential development in Granville Street are progressing well and we are currently in the process of finalising the design.
“The Lovell project team expect to be on site and starting demolition work in the New Year.”
Craven District Council confirmed that the sale of the site was not complete and added that no work would start until the sale had been completed.
A spokeswoman said the cost of continued responsibility of the site would be “offset” by the eventual sale of the former offices.
“The council and Lovell are working together to finalise the conditions of the legal agreement and although Lovell are hoping to be on site in the new year, no work will start until the sale has been finalised,” she said.
“In the meantime the business rates responsibility remains with the council as current site owner. The cost of this will be offset by the sale of the site to Lovell. The current security guarding arrangements have been put in place following a series of break-ins to the building at a cost of approximately £200 per week.”