The feasibility study into possible future community use of Conygre House has been published on the Filton Town Council website.
Publication of the report fulfils a promise made at the July Town Council meeting by representatives of the Friends of Conygre House group.
The campaigners, who would like to see the historic building retained for use by the local community, were given £1,500 by the Council to help commission the report. The balance of the £2,250 cost was found by the Friends through fundraising activities.
The report, written by Elaine Flint of Social Enterprise Works, was produced in March 2012.
South Gloucestershire Council, which owns the vacant building, has said it wants to realise £700k by disposing of the building but had until recently held back from marketing it in order to give the Friends time to explore the potential for community use of the site.
An independent informal assessment of the open market value of the building with current planning use suggested it might be worth just £300k.
The report consider various mixes of commercial, residential and community uses for the building but concludes that none of them would raise the capital target of £300k-£700k, even over an extended period.
Since the report was written, South Gloucestershire Council has announced its intention to put the property on the market, which effectively eliminates one of the two ‘next steps’ conclusions in the report.
The remaining ‘scenario 2’ calls for the Friends to be “fully engaged in any change of planning use consultation with the aim to preserve the fabric of the buildings and grounds”.
The author recommends that the Friends “maintain their ongoing engagement with the local community about community aspirations”.
A representative of the Friends told the July Council meeting:
“It’s not over yet – we have more to do. South Gloucestershire Council regard us as having done quite well. Southern Brooks Community Partnership will be attending our next meeting to help us develop as a community organisation.”
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