CIVIC chiefs have overspent more than £1.6m of taxpayers money developing new space at a prime Dorset site.

Purbeck District Council have admitted that they overspent by £1.68m after constructing the Quadrant Centre at Dorset Innovation Park.

The site comprises of twenty fully-serviced business units, together with on-site parking and forms part of a wider project at the Dorset Enterprise Zone at Winfrith which will see around 2,000 jobs created in what is set to be a major economic boost for Dorset.

The project will attract dozens of new businesses in the marine, defence and energy sectors to the area.

In a report, produced by management accountant Hannah Brown and Sue Joyce, general manager of resources, they said that on completion of the construction works, the site was revalued and the buildings element was valued at £0.76m.

This was £1.68m lower than the total related build costs of £2.44m which was initially spent and quoted.

Consequently, this meant that the council had overspent on the build costs by £1.68m and as a result, this was added to the council's revenue budget which changed an underspend of £31,500 to an overspend of £1,648,754.

However, the land at the site was also revalued which increased its total value by £2.55m which meant that there was an overall net increase of £0.87m, however, this is in council financial terms is not part of the revenue budget.

Purbeck District Council said that they expected a loss on valuation of the buildings for two key reasons.

Firstly, they said that the Quadrant site is the first new development on the Enterprise Zone which was a former atomic energy site amidst an area with numerous environmental designations.

Consequently, the site required a number of surveys to be undertaken in order to achieve planning permission, which inevitably increased the cost of development.

In addition, PDC added that the buildings were produced to a very high specification, which has also increased the cost but provided good quality, environmentally friendly flagship assets for the site.