AN ECO-FRIENDLY visitors’ centre made from recycled tyres, glass and drinks cans could form part of a new country park in Newstead.
The new ‘earthship’ building would act as an information centre for Newstead and Annesley Country Park, which campaigners want to build on the site of the former Annesley coal mine.
It could also be hired out for private events such as weddings.
Anthony Thistleton-Smith, of architects Waugh Thistleton and village champion for Newstead Enterprise, the firm set up to transform the country park, said the building would be perfect for a country park
He said: “An earthship is self-sustainable for energy and waste in the same way a sea ship is.
“We wanted a design which showed you could have a sustainable building which had a contemporary look - and to move away from the hippy-ish style you might associate with that type of building.”
The centre’s design is based on a style of building pioneered in New Mexico 25 years ago and has been updated to suit Newstead’s colder weather.
The building would include space for workshops, exhibitions and seminars, and a kitchen area. There could also be a a café, a lobby, and a terrace.
Gedling Borough Council has received the plans for the site and if they approve them, 33 volunteers from the Newstead community would help build the centre by laying earth filled tyres.
Said Anthony: “The way this building is put together is perfect for a community project. Earth--filled tyres are up to the task but they are also a relatively easy skill to learn.
“We found it was possible to learn how to lay them to a good standard within an afternoon. It means there is a chance for members to learn skills they can take away from the project.”
The building will be partly funded by money from a £400,000 grant through the Village SOS scheme sponsored by the Building Better Communities organissation and the Big Lottery Fund.
Nottinghamshire County Council will also contribute £80,000 to the building, through their local improvement scheme.
Gedling Borough Council will make their decision on whether to grant permission for the centre some time next month.
Said Anthony: “We are really raring to go and I’m very much looking the work starting as soon as possible.”