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Brighton and Hove city councillors approve sell off of seafront HQ
5:04pm Thursday 12th September 2013 in News
A council's seafront headquarters is to be sold - but plans to allocate part of it for a primary school have been knocked back.
Brighton and Hove city councillors tonight have approved to push ahead with the proposal to put the grade II listed King's House in Grand Avenue, Hove, on the market for £9 million.
Once sold, the money will go towards a £16 million project to refurbish Hove Town Hall so it can be used as a place to house councillors and public sector workers.
However it would lead to the loss of some public areas as well as the Citizen's Advice Bureau centre as the space is leased off as commercially.
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Town hall bosses said the overall scheme would modernise the council while cutting costs and reducing the local authority's carbon footprint.
Greens and Labour councillors voted through the plans after voting against a Conservative amendment to allocate part of the seafront site for a three-form primary school.
Conservative councillor Geoffrey Theobald said he felt the case “compelling”, adding the adoption of the idea did not prevent the continuation of overall scheme.
In response, Green councillor Sue Shanks said the council were forecasting it had reached a peak in demand for primary places and it did not want to be in the situation where it had to close schools.
Labour group leader Warren Morgan said he could not support the plans as he feared that the site would be used as a free school and lead to the loss of potential affordable housing on the King's House site.
Coun Morgan added the scheme would give the council an opportunity to take meetings out of the city centre and into communities.
Speaking about the whole scheme, Conservative councillor Garry Peltzer Dunn said he was concerned that residents had not been asked for their views on the plans for Hove Town Hall.
But Green council leader Jason Kitcat said: "Considering the financial pressures that we face until 2020 this plan is very welcome.
"This is a key plan to keep the council afloat but also to provide affordable housing on the King's House site."
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