‘Community asset’ Goblin Combe to be sold off by council

PUBLISHED: 07:00 10 November 2018

Goblin Combe Environment Centre, in Cleeve.    

Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Goblin Combe Environment Centre, in Cleeve. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Archant

The uncertain future of an environment centre has become even cloudier, with the local authority deciding it will be sold.

Goblin Combe Environment Centre, in Cleeve, will be marketed by North Somerset Council after it deemed the building ‘surplus to requirements’.

The environment centre was bought by the council more than a decade ago to safeguard its future, and it has been used for nature activities for children, vulnerable people and those battling addiction.

But the former school building, which is registered as an asset of community value, has been vacant for several months.

A spokesman told the Times it has tried to keep the environment centre in the hands of the community, but a viable solution is yet to be found.

They added: “The property has been designated as an asset of community value but so far there hasn’t been any interest in it for community purposes since its designation so we have declared it surplus to our requirements.

“At the moment we’re getting ready to take the property to the market but we don’t have a date yet for when the marketing campaign will start.

“If interest comes forward during the marketing process for appropriate community uses then it will certainly be considered.”

It is unknown what price the council will be selling the environment centre building for, and its decision to sell up adds to the uncertain future of Goblin Combe.

Charity Groundwork ran classes and camps at the nearby Goblin Combe lodge building and surrounding woodland, but amid financial fears it imposed a moratorium on all activities at the end of the summer to conduct a review of cash flows and it is yet to confirm its plans.

Independent education specialist Alice Tucker took on a short-term lease of the lodge in October until January, and she believes Goblin Combe is a ‘jewel in Cleeve’s crown’.

She said: “It would be a desperate shame if this was lost.

“If it was shut up and nothing happened, it would be a crying shame

“Where would children go with their mums and dads, where would the people in drug and alcohol rehab go to have an experience which challenges them in a safe environment?

“Without this, people will be left high and dry and a bit lonely.”

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