The council is due to sign off the demolition of the 1970s building next week, opening up a prime site in the town centre for residential development once staff relocate to Muse’s £142m Time Square.
Warrington Council acquired the building on Buttermarket Street in 2014 in a move which it said “saved money and minimised risk”, but the council is preparing to decant into its new headquarters, roughly opposite its existing home next year.
Under the relocation plan, New Town House is to be vacated in spring 2020; the council said there were “no operational reasons to keep the building in council use or occupied beyond this point”, allowing the site to be cleared for redevelopment.
Justifying the demolition, Warrington said the building has “poor energy efficiency, high service costs, and is inflexible for modern office and business working”.
Cost estimates for refurbishment, M&E installation, and energy efficiency measures to keep the building in office use stand at £5m; even if this is actioned, the building would still have “limitations for flexible modern working practices and energy efficiency”.
The council had explored renting the building out but said there was “no demand for office space of this scale and quality”; a sale was also considered but the council found market demand was “not significant”.
Residential is the most likely outcome for the site, and it will be built into a masterplan for an area including Scotland Road, Town Hill, and Cockhedge. The council said it would look to sell the site in future.
Warrington’s executive is set to sign off the demolition next week.