Posted: 22.02.21 at 13:20 by Sian Bayley, Local Democracy Reporter
Plans to provide a new social centre and affordable homes in Teddington have seen costs increase by nearly a million pounds in just one year.
Updated plans for the Elleray Hall site show Richmond Council is now expecting to pay £3.04 million, compared to £2.2 million last February.
Last year the council approved plans to relocate a new social centre on the North Lane car park site, and create an affordable housing scheme on the current Elleray Hall site.
Conservative councillor Aphra Brandreth expressed concern about the “substantial and serious increase” in costs at a meeting of the Finance, Policy and Resources Committee.
Assistant director for property services David Sharp acknowledged the large increase, but said last year’s estimate was “an early stage feasibility study".
He said the council has since learnt more about the project after going through the design process, and had to allow for extra fees such as the demolition of the existing hall and for planning permission for the residential development.
He added: “On review there are fee items that could have been included and there’s some learning there from us, I think, in terms of going forward with these projects, but it’s always very difficult in terms of taking a scheme from a very early concept stage through a design process, and nailing costs at that point.”
The committee approved the capital funding for the project.
Cllr Brandreth and opposition leader cllr Paul Hodgins abstained on the paper, citing a concern about the increase in cost.