PROPOSALS to bulldoze the premises of one of Taunton's biggest employers moved a step closer this week.

The United Kingdom Hydrographic Office is seeking approval to construct an environmentally friendly office building on its existing site on Admiralty Way.

The buildings currently in use are inefficient and expensive to maintain and the new offices, due to be in use by 2019, will help the organisation meet its future needs in the digital age.

Land at the front of the Admiralty Way site will be sold for redevelopment and outline planning permission is also being sought for a residential development on this land.

All costs associated with the new office, which will be three storeys high and glass fronted, will be met by the UKHO from business receipts as a self-funding agency.

The new building will create a "modern, collaborative working environment", according to chief executive John Humphrey, producing cost efficiencies along with up-to-date technology and working conditions.

The UKHO had looked into a number of possibilities over its future before deciding to stay put and rebuild, with Firepool and Exeter considered as possible bases at one stage.