County Council wants to build new £14 million offices at Linby

Nottinghamshire County Council has unveiled plans that could see it building a brand new £14.7 million flagship building at the Top Wighay Farm development in Linby.

The project would be part of a £28 million upgrading of council offices after the authority confirmed staff would spend more time working from home in future.

However, Coun David Shaw (Ash Ind) who represents Hucknall West on the council, has called for a pause in the programme, asking whether such spending could be justified.

The authority approved the project in February 2020 as part of an ‘Investment in Nottinghamshire’ programme.

The council wants to build a new flagship building at Top Wighay Farm in Hucknall

Under the proposals, as well as the Hucknall area offices, a new building with office space would be built next to County Hall – moving staff currently working at Trent Bridge House close to the cricket ground.

The plans also feature £3 million improvements to Meadow House in Mansfield and a £2.75 million investment in new office facilities in Worksop.

However, calls have been made for the plans to be reviewed after the authority approved its hybrid working model last week.

Coun Shaw said: “Now is the time to pause these plans until we have a clearer picture of whether the new offices are actually needed.

“Bringing the issue of spending £28 million on unnecessary buildings is, if nothing else, economic folly.

“The decision should be reviewed and brought to the committee.”

A leading councillor has now confirmed the scheme is under review.

Members of the authority’s economic development and asset management (EDAM) committee will assess the plans when documents are put forward in the autumn.

Coun Keith Girling (Con), EDAM committee chairman, said: “It is currently under review to make sure it aligns with the hybrid working model.

“A report on the outcome of this review and next steps will be submitted to the EDAM committee in the autumn.

“All members of the EDAM committee will be able to consider the proposals at that time and provide constructive input, to ensure we have an office estate that is fit for purpose.”

“We’re not going to commit or say we’re not going to do anything, until we understand what the requirements are in terms of the estate.

“Officers deserve to be working from appropriate buildings so they can deliver the services they are here to deliver.

“It’s our responsibility to make sure that happens.”