Council to keep Chichester offices

East Pallant House in Chichester city centre
East Pallant House in Chichester city centre

Options to sell Chichester District Council’s offices in the city centre have been rejected by cabinet members.

An appraisal of East Pallant House looked at whether it could be used in a more economical way or if the buildings could be disposed, with the council then finding another home.

Options included converting the site into residential, commercial space, a nursing home, or hotel, but these have all been rejected.

Instead EPH will remain the council’s primary office accommodation but future options will be explored to reduce operating costs and generate income.

The north wing is already leased on a commercial basis and officers have concluded that more office space can be freed up to lease out to partners, voluntary sector organisations or businesses.

The recommendations were agreed by cabinet members on Tuesday.

Peter Wilding, cabinet member for business improvement services, said the council ‘need to be mindful of staff welfare in any replanning’.

Tony Dignum, leader of the council, added: “We would not want to go too far and lose the staff’s goodwill.”

He explained how with the number of changes already made to where staff are located it was easy for visitors to lose their way.

Officers said that once the dust had settled on reorganisation a map of the building would be provided to councillors.

Eileen Lintill, cabinet member for community services, suggested their current city centre location was accessible for residents.

Meanwhile Janet Kilby, cabinet member for housing services, added: “We need a proviso that there is still going to be suitable accommodation for existing and new staff.”

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