Council’s £750,000 towards Long Sutton eco units

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LINCOLNSHIRE County Council is poised to splash £750,000 so building work can be completed on the UK’s biggest earth-sheltered development.

The £1.62million development was started by SEArch Architects but the county’s cash will see construction work completed and office units ready to be rented out.

A report to the county council economic scrutiny committee says the authority’s investment will give it a 46 per cent stake in the ownership.

The project off Gedney Road is called CaNeBuZo (Carbon Neutral Business Zone).

There will be five offices, a cafe, a classroom and a four-bedroom house designed to be a “living laboratory with every aspect of its environmental performance being monitored”.

The five eco offices are designed to include a mixture of reception, office and meeting spaces as well as a kitchenette, toilets and showers.

The classroom will hold up to 45 people.

According to the county council, the room will be kitted out with audio visual equipment and used by on-site businesses as well as businesses from across the area, school groups and community groups.

The economic scrutiny committee is due to meet on January 11 and will decide then whether to follow their officers’ recommendation to invest in the site.

The report to the committee says: “Economic Regeneration currently operates a large portfolio of managed workspaces, offices, community multi-use centres and commercial/industrial units across the county.

“However we have long had a desire to support the provision of new business workspace in the south-east of the county, where our portfolio has a gap, and research has shown there is a lack of readily available small units.”

SEArch is based in its own earth-sheltered headquarters on the Gedney Road site - and founder Jerry Harrall has an earth-sheltered home nearby.

His firm also designed six earth-sheltered homes for social housing and they opened in Unity Gardens, Long Sutton, in July 2009.