Fire destroys Eco Village cabins
Englefield Green: Man, 36, held on arson charge
A SUSPECTED arson attack destroyed two wooden homes in the Runnymede Eco-Village at Cooper’s Hill on Saturday.
The village, where around 45 people live in tents, yurts, tipis and wooden cabins, is situated in woodland at Brunel University’s disused Runnymede campus, which has been purchased by property developers.
It has housed people since June 2012 and includes a long house kitchen, communal areas, structures made from recycled materials, a well and solar panels.
Andrew Brackenborough, who has lived at the site for more than two years, called the police on Saturday night.
“No one was hurt but lots of personal property was damaged, including passports and books,” he said.
Fire crews from Egham and Staines attended the fire at around 7.30pm and stayed at the scene extinguishing the flames until 9pm.
An Egham fire station spokesman said: “We are unable to speculate what the cause of the fire was. No one was taking owner- ship of them – the homes.”
A spokesman for Surrey Police confirmed that a 36-year-old man had been arrested and charged on suspicion of arson with intent.
Bernaz Rizvi of Woodside Park Road, North Finchley, appeared at Redhill Magistrates’ Court on Monday and has been remanded in custody. He is due to appear at Guildford Crown Court on Monday December 22.
The Eco-Village at Cooper’s Hill is home to around
45 people, who live there in huts and tents.
The remains of one of the cabins after the fire.