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THE BEEHIVE CENTRE MOVES A STEP CLOSER - 01/02/13

  • Town Council approves tender
  • EDDC hands over the building site

    EDDC Handing over the building site for The Beehive
    Cllr Paul Diviani (left), Leader of East Devon District Council and Devon County Councillor for Honiton St Michael's, shakes hands with Honiton Mayor Cllr David Foster (right) to seal the deal. Also pictured (left to right) are:
    Cllr Vivienne Ash
    Cllr John O'Leary - East Devon District Councillor for Honton St Paul's and EDDC Member Champion for Culture
    Cllr Andrew Moulding - Deputy Leader of EDDC
    Cllr Vernon Whitlock - Town Councillor and Beehive Steering Group Member
    Chetna Jones - Honiton Town Clerk

1st February 2013
Honiton’s Beehive Community Centre moved a step closer this week when East Devon District Council’s Cabinet agreed to transfer the freehold of the Dowell Street Car Park to Honiton Town Council at no cost.
It is hoped that contracts can be signed in the next two weeks so that work can start in early March.
On 22 November 2005, EDDC entered into a contractual arrangement with Honiton Town Council. This committed the District Council to contributing a capital sum, by way of grant, of £333,333 towards the cost of constructing the community centre – to include architect’s fees.

EDDC’s Executive Board agreed at a meeting on 27 November 2002 that the £333,333 building grant was to be made in addition to the transfer of land. This sum is now £275,796 after deduction of costs to date.
EDDC also holds ‘Section 106’ funding of £500,000 to be used towards the building costs of the Community Centre.
The proposed development comprises a two-storey building offering a modern purpose-built venue and a public car park within close walking distance of the town centre.

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Andrew Moulding, Deputy Leader of East Devon District Council said:
“We are very pleased to be supporting this project and bringing localism to life in Honiton.  It’s important that we keep a firm eye on our assets and how they can best be used, and this is a great example of good asset management having a really positive impact.
“We have agreed some sensible principles which make sure that the district and its taxpayers would not miss out if the land were eventually used for something of a higher land value, for example local housing.
“However, the focus is very much on seeing a good quality and much sought-after Community Centre and town hub provided for Honiton residents and those from surrounding villages and communities.”
On Wednesday night Town Councillor Vernon Whitlock addressed the East Devon Cabinet before the item on the Beehive. He welcomed the proposal for transferring the freehold, and expressed his thanks to those East Devon councillors and officers who had given unstinting support to the project.
After the meeting Town Councillor Nick Cornwell, who chairs the joint Beehive Steering Group between the Town and District Council, echoed these thanks, and said:
“This has been a truly historic week for Honiton. On Monday the Town Council approved the appointment of the building contractor, having established that we have the funding for the build in place – and now we are to be given the freehold of the land. After years of delays and hitches, things really are coming together now.”

Funding towards the Centre will also come from Devon County Council, which has committed £12,450 from the Invest In Devon Fund, and County Council Ward Members Cllr Paul Diviani and Cllr Sara Randall Johnson have together pledged over £10,000 combined from their Councillor Locality Budgets.

Alternative parking arrangements for residents who regularly use the car park overnight are being arranged and people will be contacted directly before any work begins.