A DISTRICT council may never move into its new £17.8m headquarters as staff have shown they can work from home.

South Oxfordshire District Council is planning to build its new base in Crowmarsh Gifford, near Wallingford, after its previous offices at the same site were burned down in 2015.

But the coronavirus pandemic has shifted thinking and several locations are now being considered.

A council spokesperson said: “Since March, we have significantly changed our working arrangements to ensure that we could continue to deliver our services during the Coronavirus pandemic.

“The vast majority of our staff are working from home and we are now considering how this could work over the longer term.

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“This includes reviewing the plans for our new headquarters, including its size and location, in order to ensure it meets our changing requirements, while ensuring it provides value for money for the tax payer.

"We are looking at a number of possible sites, including Crowmarsh.”

The previous building was set on fire by a man called Andrew Main in 2015, with South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils sharing offices in Milton Park, near Abingdon, before lockdown.

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The council holds the lease for the site until 2022, so staff could return in the short term.

A paper setting out options for the new headquarters will be discussed at the next cabinet meeting on August 6.

The ruling Liberal Democrat and Green parties are surveying staff about home working and leader Sue Cooper said it was too early to make a decision.

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The Liberal Democrat added: “In order to downsize, we need to check staff can actually work from home.

“A lot would like a combination (of home and office work), but we’re still collecting evidence.

“It’s really difficult to plan at the moment, so we have to keep all of our options open.”

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It comes a month after the council's Conservative group called for the new offices to be downsized, due to cost and environmental reasons.

Group leader Jane Murphy said: “I’m really pleased that the council is looking at what would be the best value for our residents and staff in these changed times.”