DORSET Council is preparing to sell the old district council office and buildings in Wimborne.

Dorset Council has instructed its agents to begin marketing the empty buildings and site of the old East Dorset District Council (EDDC) offices in Furzehill, Wimborne.

The Furzehill site consists of 2.73 hectares (6.76 acres), allocated for residential development and other alternative uses.

Following a local government reorganisation in 2019, Dorset Council and BCP Council were created to replace the county's former district and borough councils.

As a result, the site at Furzehill was declared no longer necessary, and Dorset Council inherited the empty buildings.

The sale of Furzehill was identified as a priority to generate money that the council could spend on other capital expenditures including land and buildings and paying off debt.

Situated around 1.5 miles (2.4km) from Wimborne Minster town centre, the surrounding area of Furzehill is mainly private homes and countryside.

The site includes several buildings, including the main 19th-century house known as Woodleaze, a former 19th-century stable building converted into office space, and two semi-detached residential dwellings.

There is garage/storage space and several buildings previously used for office accommodation.

The east of the site contains Woodleaze Copse, an area of ancient woodland. While it is not large enough to be considered on any ancient woodland register, it is unsuitable for development.

Access is provided from the main Furzehill road via a long driveway to the east, and there is ample parking onsite.

The site is for sale via informal offer, seeking the best consideration. This is expected to be subject to planning bids, but unconditional bids will also be considered.

Cllr Andrew Parry, Dorset Council's portfolio holder for assets and property, said: "I am pleased we are finally able to market the Furzehill site. At a time when council budgets are stretched, it is vitally important that we explore all options for our property portfolio and sell what we do not need to get the best value for money for our residents.

"I hope people can see that we're working hard to dispose of these old unused assets and help reduce further financial burden on Dorset's taxpayers.

"I look forward to seeing the tenders made for the Furzehill site over the coming months."