South Oxfordshire District Council has announced it intends to move to a new building on its former site at Crowmarsh Gifford.
The council has been in temporary accommodation along with the Vale of White Horse District Council, since the fire that destroyed the offices the two councils shared in an arson attack in January 2015. They moved into a vacant building on Milton Park six months after the fire, where they have been ever since.
During that time the councils have investigated a wide range of options for their permanent home, and have now concluded that the most cost-effective solution is to move back to the site that is owned by South Oxfordshire District Council.
The councils will now work to prepare the site to build a new, smaller headquarters, which is more suited to their needs. The building will include a new council chamber for South Oxfordshire’s committee meetings, while the Vale’s committees will continue to take place in The Beacon in Wantage.
Cllr John Cotton, leader of South Oxfordshire District Council, said: “Crowmarsh has been the home of our council more or less since its inception, and it’s great news to be going back home. It’s the right choice for the council, it’s the right choice for our residents. We’ll lead the way for councils up and down the country by building an excellent and efficient headquarters that we can be proud of.”
Cllr Matthew Barber, leader of the Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “We have explored a range of options available for our permanent home, and there’s no doubt now that Crowmarsh represents the best value for our residents, as it was before the fire.”
South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils