Search

Land cash hike for Campus scheme

PUBLISHED: 08:59 12 February 2008 | UPDATED: 19:42 05 July 2010

The cost of building the new Waveney Campus council and science HQ at Lowestoft has come under close scrutiny again after new figures showed that taxpayers would have to pay more than initially thought to buy land.

The cost of building the new Waveney Campus council and science HQ at Lowestoft has come under close scrutiny again after new figures showed that taxpayers would have to pay more than initially thought to buy land.

Waveney District Council has revealed it could have to shell out nearly £4.5m on land by the banks of Lake Lothing - up from an estimated £3m in November.

Officials have confirmed that the cost of buying sites under compulsory purchase orders has risen after talks with landowners.

The land purchase budget has now been revised to £4.47m, which will also cover a potential repayment of £670,000 in European funding, allocated in 1999 to help build the Riverside Business Park on the site now allocated for the Campus.

Meanwhile, taxpayers may also have to foot a further bill of £3m for vital repairs to the quay area at the Campus site if a bid for funding from the East of England Development Agency (Eeda) is unsuccessful.

Leaders at Tory-led Waveney council have issued a staunch defence of the campus, which will also house staff from Suffolk County Council and the Cefas marine science laboratory, saying it will regenerate the waterfront area of Lowestoft when it opens in 2010.

Questions about the rising costs have been raised by Sally Spore (left), leader of the council's opposition Labour group. She is not against the Campus project in principle but has been keen to ensure the issue of cost is kept in the public domain.

“The decision has been made, and the campus is going ahead, but I want people to make their own minds up about the figures,” said Mrs Spore.

The cost of building the Campus has been stated as £52.7m - although this will rise with inflation - and Mrs Spore has questioned council claims that the cost of the project will not impact directly on taxpayers.

She has been keen to point out the land purchase costs will come from the council's capital budget while interest on the loan will be paid from the authority's revenue account. “The public has a right to mull this over and make its own judgment,” said Mrs Spore.

A council spokesman said: “The Campus project will catalyse regeneration in this area of Lowestoft and improve service efficiency and delivery for customers and the communities of Waveney.”

Waveney will lease parts of the building to Suffolk County Council and Cefas, and the spokesman said income received from this would also cover costs.

He added it was hoped the council would not have to pay back the European funding for the Riverside Business Park.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Lowestoft Journal

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists