Eco village bid fails

PUBLISHED: 18:09 19 July 2006 | UPDATED: 09:37 24 May 2010

EXCITING plans to convert Barrow Gurney's former hospital into the UK's biggest eco village have fallen flat - after the site was sold to developers

EXCITING plans to convert Barrow Gurney's former hospital into the UK's biggest eco village have fallen flat - after the site was sold to developers.Bosses at the Sustainable Initiative for Barrow (SIB) group this week revealed their bid to buy the 200 acre site, which is owned by the Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership (AWP), had been rejected. Plans being put forward by the SIB group, which is made up of businesses, green organisations and individuals, included the creation of a craft village and the first outdoor theatre in the Bristol area.The proposals also featured an on-site brewery, eco homes and an education centre offering courses including thatching and glass blowing.SIB spokesman Gaile Stevens said: "We have been told that our bid to purchase Barrow Hospital has not been successful."We have no more information at present and are awaiting a meeting with the agents and the trust for more details."We will be calling on the trust to release details of the winning bid and parties involved and believe it is important to open up the sale process for public scrutiny in order that a fair decision can be demonstrated."The group thanked people for their support for the bid and added that it would be looking at alternative sites in the area to create an eco village.Miss Stevens said: "The response to our plans has shown the demand for such a sustainable development is widespread and it will only be a matter of time before this happens in the Bristol area."We will continue our work and endeavour to identify and secure such a site for the benefit of the community."The site already has outline planning permission for 18 homes, offices, workshops, cricket pavilion, an equestrian centre and sports pitch.Barrow Gurney Parish Council chairman Geoff Coombs said: "It is a real shame the eco village bid did not go ahead as it would have really put Barrow Gurney on the national map. We are very keen to see who has bought the hospital and what their proposals are for the site."A spokesman for AWP said: "We are in final negotiations with a preferred bidder and we expect to complete the sale in September.

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