Following months of negotiation the purchase of the Crescent Gardens council office building has fallen through and the Conservative led council will now have to start the process all over again.
Details of the buyer and the agreed price have so far been kept secret.
Cllr Pat Marsh, leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on Harrogate Council, said:
I would have thought that the problems involved with the sale of the Council Offices would have been sorted at an earlier stage. This means that the Council has gone ahead with the contract for the new build before getting the money from Crescent Gardens in the bank.
The Council will have to remarket the building with all the risks involved, especially of not receiving the budgeted sum required and the inevitable time delays.
The impact of that is that the Council Taxpayer may end up paying more for the new build than expected. To have such a problem so early in the project hardly inspires confidence.
Council staff have now been moved out of the Knapping Mount site and are working from Springfield House. This was a previously vacant office space and nearer to Crescent Gardens than Knapping Mount, giving efficiency savings in staff movement.
This, however, creates further questions around the need of a newly built council office on the Knapping Mount site if there is existing office accommodation that provides a suitable fit for the staff.
The need and benefit to Harrogate in spending an estimated £20million on a new office for council workers remains as unclear as ever.