COUNCIL offices could be opened to rental tenants as staff peak weekly occupancy hits just 41 per cent.

New Forest District Council has agreed to carry out a feasibility study looking at options for Appletree Court on the edge of Lyndhurst.

The three-floor building has 10,500 sq ft of space and is the council’s main administrative and political centre.

Councillors have agreed to spend £100,000 on a study looking at modernisation.

Rental and rates income from tenants could hit £400,000, giving a pay-back period of four to five years.

A report said: “The most recent study (March 2023 which is some two years since the introduction of hybrid working) showed approximately 41 per cent of the office being utilised by staff at the weekly peak, and this study did not include parts of Appletree Court which had in the past been used for office staff.

“The real-term utilisation percentage is therefore much less than the 41 per cent as reported.”