We were instructed by Waverley Borough Council (WBC) to undertake an Office Accommodation Strategy coupled with an Options Evaluation to enable the Council to maximise the return from its property assets and ensure its accommodation is suitable for future needs.
The focus of this study was to identify a preferred long term accommodation solution for the Council that is capable of supporting the services and functions performed at the Council’s HQ (The Burys) whilst also optimising public value. It was agreed at the outset that a robust evaluation would be undertaken in respect of a shortlist of four principal options:
- Remain in occupation at The Burys, i.e. do nothing other than ongoing maintenance.
- Undertake a comprehensive refurbishment of the existing offices to provide improved accommodation and free up surplus space for third party use.
- Redevelop The Burys site for WBC and other users.
- Relocate WBC to alternative accommodation, to include both existing and/or new build options, to free The Burys for disposal.
The Council wanted a robust Office Accommodation Strategy as a first stage to enabling the Council to facilitate change to meet the needs of a modern local authority; create a better working environment for staff; reduce costs; whilst also maximising operational and financial returns. The Council had a key objective to ensure that the preferred outcome was self-funding.
The full report identified the potential to:
- Refurbish Council’s HQ office accommodation and create surplus accommodation for third party letting or partner/Library use.
- Fund the new office provision through a combination of redevelopments of Council owned land in Godalming.
- Add value by re-providing WBC’s offices on two separate sites in Godalming and Farnham thereby reducing WBC’s new office.
- Combine the new HQ offices with a mixed use leisure and hotel scheme.
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