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Sale of land at Western Park

Published on 13 June 2016

TWO areas of land containing an unusual former open-air school and a pioneering ecologically-friendly house are being made available for sale together.

Leicester City Council has decided to market the two areas of land for sale together to developers who would bring the sites back into use while respecting their former uses.

The first includes a 2.88-acre plot housing the Grade II listed former open-air school, which was built between 1928 and 1930 to provide education for children in poor health.

The buildings have stood empty for a number of years, and would need extensive refurbishment and partial rebuilding to be brought back into use for leisure, community or other suitable purposes.

The second plot of land is home to the Eco House, along with the Constance Jackson Centre and associated buildings, on a 2.51-acre site.

The Eco House was opened in 1989 as a flagship environmental project, showcasing ideas dealing with organic gardening, recycling and energy-reduction.

At its peak it received about 25,000 visitors a year, but closed several years ago and has remained empty since. 

The whole of the site is being offered for sale, with a condition that any redevelopment scheme would need to significantly exceed the Government’s current environmental sustainability standards.

This could include retaining and refurbishing the Eco House building itself, or replacing it with newer, more sustainable buildings.

The sites will be marketed from sale from Monday, June 13, with the deadline for offers being 2pm on Friday, August 5.

Leicester assistant city mayor for environment and sustainability, Cllr Adam Clarke, said: “In marketing these premises, we are looking to attract developers who can bring the two long-redundant sites back into appropriate use.

“The Eco House site, for example, could become top-quality housing built to the highest possible environmental standards, which would act as a beacon for other developers.

“The former open-air school is a more unusual set of buildings, hence its Grade II listing. It will require extensive conservation work, but could be suitable for community, leisure or residential use in the future.

It will be very interesting to see how developers respond to the brief. I look forward to seeing high-quality designs being presented, which will respect the unique heritage and environmental importance of both sites.” 

Details are available at: www.leicester.gov.uk/propertyshop

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