Plymouth Register Office to stay where it is after council U-turn
THE Register Office in Plymouth is to remain on the Hoe for now after a council U-turn on a planned move to Central Park.
The Labour administration has cancelled a Conservative proposal to move the Register Office to Pounds House in the park and sell off the building on Lockyer street.
The previous Conservative administration had argued that the move, which also included relocating the Coroner’s Office from The Crescent, would save £1million in the long term.
Cllr Peter Smith, the deputy leader of the council, said: “There were problems with Pounds House because there was no access for limousines through the narrow entrance.
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“We were also concerned about losing trade for hoteliers on the Hoe.”
The proposal to move the Register Office from its existing location in Lockyer Street to Pounds House was put forward as part of the second phase of the council’s accommodation strategy and was approved by Cabinet in March and Council in June 2011.
Roy Martin, chairman of the Plymouth Hospitality Association and owner of the Invicta Hotel, welcomed the news.
“The hospitality association has been lobbying for the past two years to keep it there and it’s excellent news that the council has seen sense. It’s marvellous.”
He said a survey of hotels, guest houses, pubs and restaurants in the area showed that the Register Office brought close to £2million a year to the hospitality trade on the Hoe.
“The Conservative administration put it on the back burner,” Mr Martin said. “When Labour came into power I had one or two conversations with Tudor Evans, the council leader.
“It’s nice to see Labour supporting the hospitality trade.”
Before the move was cancelled the GMB union looked at the Lockyer Street building with a view to making its new city headquarters there.
Cllr Smith said: “The GMB was interested but we have told them that we are not selling.
“We are trying to help them in looking for premises elsewhere.”
Cllr Smith said there were moves to get wedding licences for other premises in the city.
Pounds House is currently being used by educational groups.