Historic Victorian school building goes up for sale with future uncertain

PUBLISHED: 08:00 04 May 2019

Goblin Combe Environment Centre, in Cleeve.    


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


A building which ‘forms a big part of Cleeve’s history’ has gone on the market after the local authority decided to cash in on the asset.

Goblin Combe Environment Centre is up for sale after North Somerset Council deemed the former school building surplus to requirements.

The authority bought the grade-II listed building, in Plunder Street, more than a decade ago to safeguard the future of the site, which has been used for a variety of nature education activities for children and vulnerable adults.

The council's asking price for the building is unknown, but the property – which has been gathering dust for months – is listed as an asset of community value, meaning it must be offered for sale to community groups before private offers can be considered.

A council spokesman said: “We are initially looking for interest for community uses but if there is no interest from such groups at a reasonable price we will then widen the marketing out for alternative uses.”

A Cleeve Parish Council spokesman told the Times it was unhappy with North Somerset's decision to sell up.

They said: “We were saddened to hear the environment centre was closing as it was an asset used by many.

“Our hopes for the building would be something that embraces the community, environment and be of interest to the younger generations. The building forms a big part of Cleeve's history and we hope whoever takes on the venture is able to appreciate the building's significance.”

The environment centre is being marketed by Debbie Fortune Estate Agents, which says the building is in need of a revamp.

The marketing documents say: “The property comprises of a detached grade-II listed Victorian building, constructed of local stone elevations with a slate-tiled roof.

“A former village school, the premises has been leased out for a number of years for commercial use and more recently as a study centre. The property has been unoccupied for some months and is now in need of extensive modernisation or renovation.

“The building is to be offered initially for purchase or rent by a community group. During this period community organisations are invited to tender offers in writing.”

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