Hospital site vandalism fears

VILLAGE leaders are pressing for the development of Barrow Gurney's former hospital to get underway - following fears the site could become a target for vandals. Councillors say they are keen to see the 200-acre site being developed after reports youths h

VILLAGE leaders are pressing for the development of Barrow Gurney's former hospital to get underway - following fears the site could become a target for vandals.Councillors say they are keen to see the 200-acre site being developed after reports youths had broken in and damaged the pumping station.The vandal attack caused the water supply to nearby homes to be temporarily interrupted.Barrow Gurney Parish Council chairman Geoff Coombs said: "We had a meeting with the developers this week and they are planning to develop the site in line with the outline planning permission which already exists."We are very keen for the development to get started as we do not want the site left vacant for the very reason it could become a target for vandals and antisocial behaviour."The site was bought in August in a multi million pound deal by developers Del Piero Ltd.A Del Piero spokesman said: "Fortunately we have 24 hour surveillance on the site so the vandals were detected quickly and the police called."We have not encountered any problems since."The spokesman said negotiations were currently continuing with North Somerset Council planners regarding the amount of square footage of residential and office space to be built on the site. He added Del Piero Ltd expected to submit a detailed application early in the New Year.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.The buildings will now be brought back into use as a mixture of offices, leisure facilities and housing. The hospital, originally built in 1937, already has outline planning permission for a mixed development of office space, leisure facilities and housing.Barrow Gurney beat officer WPC Jackie McDonald said: "There have been people breaking into the site and our scenes of crime officers have attended and taken fingerprints."We also have CCTV footage."We are waiting for the fingerprint information before we take any further action.


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