Plans to sell Conygre House in Filton are to move forward after feasibility studies showed that it would not be possible to retain it as a sustainable community facility.
South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) says it has worked closely with community group the Friends of Conygre House to consider options to retain the house for the local community after it was vacated by its previous tenants.
However, despite extensive work by the Friends group including a detailed feasibility study, none of the options were found to be capable of delivering a long term, financially sustainable project.
South Gloucestershire Council Director of Corporate Resources Dave Perry said:
“The Friends of Conygre House have worked tirelessly to identify options to retain the house for the local community and the council has been very supportive of this work.”
“We are all disappointed that it was not possible to identify a financially sustainable approach to retaining the house but having exhausted all options we must now move forward with its sale.”
“We are very grateful to the Friends group for all the hard work they have put into this project, but are sure they will continue to work locally for the benefit of the community.”
Vice Chair of the Friends of Conygre House Tony Blake said:
“The Friends of Conygre House appreciate the work and commitment that South Gloucestershire Council have put into the Conygre House project.”
“For the past three years the Council and its officers have worked with us in a positive and friendly manner. And I do not think it is a reflection on either the Friends, or South Gloucestershire that we could not achieve our ambition of creating a Community Centre in Conygre, rather a reflection of these austere times.”
Rumours had previously been circulating that SGC planned to sell Conygre House to Merlin Housing Society for around £350k, possibly to be redeveloped as student flats, but this was categorically denied by Filton District Councillor Adam Monk at a meeting of Filton Town Council in July.
Earlier this week, Filton Voice reported that Merlin had confirmed it has never been in talks to purchase the property.
Filton Town Council previously gave the Friends of Conygre House £1,500 for a feasibility study into possible future uses for the house.
Cllr Monk told the July Town Council meeting that the Conygre House site would be offered for sale “on condition that the house will stay” but this has yet to be confirmed by South Gloucestershire Council.