Hospital site owners' plans

PARISH councillors are to meet with the new owners of the former Barrow Gurney Hospital site to discuss their future plans for it. The hospital was sold in what was rumoured to be a £10 million deal, earlier this year to a group of private investors. The

PARISH councillors are to meet with the new owners of the former Barrow Gurney Hospital site to discuss their future plans for it.The hospital was sold in what was rumoured to be a £10 million deal, earlier this year to a group of private investors.The consortium, which is being backed by the Allied Irish Bank GB, says it plans to breathe new life into the boarded up 200-acre site.The NHS began closing the psychiatric hospital, which didn't meet modern requirements, last year and the final patients moved out to new, purpose-built facilities in Callington Road, Bristol, in June.It is understood the site - which currently lies in the green belt - will be brought back into use as a mixture of offices, leisure facilities and housing. Parish councillors are due to meet developers at the end of the month to discuss its development.Parish council chairman Geoff Coombes said: "We are very pleased that the consortium have asked for a meeting to outline their plans for the hospital. "It will also give us the opportunity to raise any issues we have with the site, such as making sure the aspects of the land which are worth retaining are protected."Because the site lies within the green belt, regulations say the owners can only build on the existing footprint of the site.The Regional Spatial Strategy document is already recommending areas on the fringes of Bristol are taken out of the green belt to allow for development and councillors are concerned the Barrow site could fall into this category.Cllr Coombes added: "We do wonder whether there will be any moves to take the site out of the green belt. "There are areas of ancient woodland and parkland which the council wants to see preserved and enhanced."There are a number of very mature, established trees on the site and we hope the developers will be sensitive to this.


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