Fire de­stroys Eco Vil­lage cab­ins

En­gle­field Green: Man, 36, held on ar­son charge

Egham News - - FRONT PAGE - by Eleanor Davis eleanor.davis@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

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.

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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.

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