Full details as Surrey County Council set to leave Kingston

By The Editor

13th Jan 2021 | Local News

Surrey County Hall
Surrey County Hall

County Hall in Kingston has been home to the Surrey County Council for 127 years, but it looks set to finally return to Surrey.

A chamber is being built on the former Canon HQ site at Cockshot Hill, Woodhatch in Reigate. The plan is for all work to be complete by the time the first full council meeting of 2021 takes place on 16th March.

County Hall in Kingston has housed the Surrey County Council since 1893, despite Kingston becoming part of Greater London in 1965.

There have since been two attempts to move it to Woking, initial plans in 2003 cost the taxpayer £4m before it was scrapped, while the 2019 plan to move to Midas House cost an additional £183,000.

While Reigate appears to be the Council's most cost-effective solution, there are concerns about the accessibility of the new location.

Leigh Whitehouse, Surrey County Council's executive director of resources, said: "All staff have been written to, informing them of their new administrative bases."

Those based at County Hall who would have far to commute have been allocated alternatives at Fairmount House in Leatherhead, Merrow in Guildford, Quadrant Court in Woking and Ashley Park House in Walton (a building in Weybridge was also chosen, due to limited space at this venue).

Mr Whitehouse said it was 'regretful in terms of the additional uncertainty that's affected staff', but a better outcome long-term.

The council is spending £5m equipping their new offices with technology and expects to save about a fifth on running costs each year (£410,000).

Mr Whitehouse said Woodhatch will use 18% of the gas and 25% of the electricity that County Hall uses in a year, at an annual saving of £106,000.

Therefore, even with the £4,183,000 loss of previous failed moves to Woking, Surrey County Council could start to feel the economic benefits of the move as soon as 2031.

As for County Hall, Whitehouse has said that the sale is progressing as planned with the preferred bidder. These plans seem to include the demolition of Bittoms car park and the council's 1982 computer wing as well as new builds, including a possible 17-storey tower.


Related Articles

A new study has rated Kingston University among the top institutions in the country for its efforts to conserve and protect wildlife (Credit: Kingston University)
Local News

Kingston University recognised as one of most wildlife-friendly universities in the United Kingdom

Abdulahi Mohamud of New Malden, has been sentenced to 16 years behind bars for the rape and kidnap of a woman (Credit: Met Police)
Local News

New Malden rapist who pretended to be cab driver in training jailed for 16 years

Nub News Logo

Kingston: WE NEED YOUR HELP  🙌

We want to provide Kingston with more and more clickbait-free local news.
To do that, we need a loyal newsletter following.
Help us survive and sign up to our FREE weekly newsletter.

We won't pass your details on to anyone else. By clicking the sign-up button you agree to our Privacy Policy.