Plans Approved to Redevelop Leicester's Former “Eco House” for Community Use

Updated: Sep 23, 2021

GSSArchitecture are delighted to share that the ambitious plans to redevelop Leicester’s former “Eco House” have been approved! The plans will see a major refurbishment of the vacant building and land in Western Park, creating a new community building to be managed by Western Ward Community Enterprise (WWCE).

After standing vacant and derelict for a number of years, the planned redevelopment has already received substantial public support, following a successful crowdfunding campaign which kickstarted the design stage. The significant funds raised by the campaign will allow the WWCE to use the detailed designs and photorealistic imagery provided by GSSArchitecture to support a bid for further national funding.

The former “Eco House” was a symbol of Leicester's status as the UK’s first Environment City, which was an example of the latest technologies available within environmental design when it opened in 1989. When developing the initial plans, GSS carefully considered the history of the site in order to respect the environmental ethos of the house, by the creation of a sustainable, eco-friendly and bio-diverse development at the heart of the community.

In addition to the variety of community spaces that will be available within Project Hive, there will also be both indoor and outdoor teaching areas, available for use by local schools. Andrew Vallis, Architect leading the project at GSSArchitecture, said, “Working on this project to achieve this significant milestone has been an extremely rewarding experience, with an interesting site and an excellent client, whose desire to do something for the community as a whole has resulted in the success of this application. This approval is a symbol of WWCE’s drive and commitment to bring back a piece of Leicester’s history, as a usable asset for the whole community, respecting the sites past and carrying on the sustainable intentions which have been an important part of Leicester’s story for many years.”

Speaking of the recent success for this project, Anna McAuley, Chair of WWCE, said, “This is such a tremendous milestone for the members of the WWCE, but also for the community in its entirety. GSS have been incredibly supportive and offered us unconditional advice all the way through. From this point onwards, the hard work begins. Finding approximately £500K for the build is no mean feat, but we hope that we can forge some fantastic partnerships with local businesses and educational facilities to keep the costs down as much as possible. Anyone interested can make contact via email:”

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