East Hampshire District Council has agreed to spend £1.7 million on its move into a more efficient, more advanced and more environmentally-friendly building in Petersfield.

Councillors decided on Thursday, July 28, to leave the authority’s long-time base at Penns Place and move to premises in Bedford Road in Petersfield.

The building, currently called New Barn, will be cheaper to run, and will reduce the council’s carbon footprint by as much as 75 per cent.

The move will also play its part in the council’s ongoing transformation to a modern, financially-sustainable stand-alone authority.

To facilitate the move, £1.7m from council reserves will be spent on new IT, fit out the building and install environmental measures. The money will come from reserves.

Council leader Cllr Richard Millard said: “This move is a win-win for us as an authority and for our residents and businesses.

“Not only is it cheaper to run and much more environmentally friendly, its location is also more convenient for staff and will create more footfall in the centre of town.

“It is also vital that we see this as more than just a move from one building to another but as part of our overall efforts to improve our services and rethink the ways we operate.

“Penns Place has been our home for a long time but it is no longer fit for purpose, it’s larger than we need and would cost a fortune to bring it up to an acceptable standard.”

New Barn is a modern office building acquired by the council in 2016 as part of its investment portfolio.

Options are still being considered for the future of Penns Place.