AN APPLICATION for a £9.9million refurbishment of County Hall has been submitted by the council.

Somerset County Council has applied for permission to Taunton Deane Borough Council for changes to Block A of its headquarters.

The sum of money was approved earlier this year by SCC after it was revealed urgent repairs were needed.

The council says no ‘significant’ investment has been made into the building since the 1980s.

Somerset County Council leader, Councillor David Fothergill, said: “This plan is about ensuring one of the council’s key assets is fit for purpose for the future, while at the same time ensuring the council saves money by bringing staff back to County Hall and relinquishing costly leased premises elsewhere in Taunton.

“Capital funding was approved by members earlier in the year for vital works as there has been no significant investment in this historic listed building since the 1980s.”

Work to the outside of the building would include replacing the boiler system, extension of a chimney and removal of ventilation fans from windows to be reinstated with glazing.

Internally, work would include suspending the committee room ceiling, adding more toilets, and upgrading the building’s fire strategy.

Cllr Fothergill says carrying out the works will be a financial benefit to the council as it will allow for staff working in leased buildings to return to the headquarters.

He added: “As an invest-to-save project, it will also yield an immediate and ongoing payback for the council amounting to more than £700,000 revenue savings annually.

“More than £6.4 million, two thirds of the total cost, is taken up by the essential works including a replacement of the boiler and heating system, asbestos removal and electrical works which are needed to keep County Hall and the Crown Courts at Shire Hall functioning.

“The remaining £3.5 million will achieve the immediate and ongoing revenue savings of over £700,000, generated by modernising the offices so staff can be moved in from several other buildings in the Taunton area, ending significant lease costs.

“Importantly, these works will also free up C Block for sale or redevelopment at substantial benefit to the council, as it will become surplus to needs.”

The work is subject to the Deane’s approval, with a decision expected by December 13.

An online consultation will run until November 11.

To view or comment on the plans search application number 38/18/0386/LB on Taunton Deane’s planning website.