At a Special Meeting of the Council on Thursday, 8 February, councillors agreed to continue consideration of two options for office accommodation requirements, with a final decision to be taken on the preferred option by October 2024.
Councillors also agreed to consider the sale of land assets in and around Old Viewforth (excluding the Old Viewforth building but including Langgarth House), as well as Burghmuir Road, Linden Avenue car park and the former Wellgreen Care Home, which would enable the development of 150-200 new homes.
A draft Planning Development Framework will now be developed for council approval, with public consultation to be undertaken as part of the process.
The first option for a new Council HQ would see the retention and refurbishment of the existing office accommodation at Old Viewforth in the city centre and Teith House in Springkerse, releasing other operational buildings.
The second option will consider the refurbishment of Old Viewforth and an extension to increase capacity, with the closure of Teith House and other operational buildings.
However, councillors rejected a third option, to refurbish Old Viewforth and construct a new annex building adjacent to it, along with the closure of Teith House.
Stirling Council leader, Cllr Chris Kane, said: “Council budgets have never been under greater pressure and, more than ever, we need a corporate accommodation strategy that is fit for purpose, provides value for money, improves our service delivery and gives our office-based staff the best working environment.
“We must address long standing issues around the maintenance and condition of the properties across our estate and the options we have accepted for further consideration will allow us to reduce operational costs in the long term. It will also allow us to release land assets that will allow for the development of much needed new homes.
“Future accommodation arrangements will also reflect the hybrid working environment, which is now well established across all office-based workforces – and it will keep us in the city centre, which is good for the local economy.
“Given the challenges of the construction market and the cost of new build accommodation, a refurbishment of existing sites provides a greater level of control over property, costs and programme delivery, as well as offering more flexibility within our office space.”
The council will now undertake more detailed planning over the coming months, including a public consultation on the site development, and discussions with trade unions, staff and councillors on the development of office accommodation.
The final preferred option on office accommodation will be presented to councillors by October 2024.
The agenda for the meeting can be found at: Special meeting of Stirling Council agenda | Stirling Council Minutes Archive
A recording of the meeting can be viewed at: Home - Stirling Council streaming (public-i.tv)