MONMOUTHSHIRE council is predicting an underspend on the project to demolish the former County Hall.

The cash-strapped local authority has forecast that by the time the work at County Hall is completed in October, £130,000 will be heading back into the pot.

Concrete cancer forced the closure of the Croesyceiliog building last year.

It was most recently shared by Monmouthshire and Torfaen councils and was the nowdefunct Gwent County Council offices, before the restructuring of local authorities in 1996.

Estimations suggested County Hall would have cost £30 million to repair.

The total budget for the current project, which began in December last year, is £2m.

Once the demolition and clear up is completed by October 21, the council will know exactly how much has been saved on the site, for which a planning application for a maximum of 220 homes has been submitted.

A Monmouthshire council spokesman said: “The underspend is a projected underspend rather than achieved and is deemed possible through competitive tendering and intensive project management. Once all the demolition and clear up work is complete the site will be prepared for sale.”

In October 2012, a council meeting heard how a disused nuclear shelter built underneath County Hall was one reason why the land reduced in value by £675,000.

But Monmouthshire council denies there is such a shelter which would need filling in.

Torfaen shared the County Hall facilities with Monmouthshire until both moved to Pontypool and Magor respectively.

Monmouthshire’s staff and councillors packed up again once their new £8m headquarters on the Coleg Gwent campus in Usk were officially opened in April.