A MAJOR deal has been struck to create one of the country's first zero-carbon business parks at Winfrith.

Dorchester-based developer Cornhill Estates is part of a syndicate run by Zog Brownfield Ventures Ltd to purchase the site known as the science and technology park from United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority.

The consortium plans to double the size of the current park to create an eco-friendly business complex on land adjacent to the nuclear site at Winfrith, which is in the process of being decommissioned.

Director of Cornhill Estates Kim Slowe said: "The science and technology park provides around half a million square feet of business space at the moment. Our intention is to double that over 10 years and to make Winfrith one of the UK's first zero-carbon business parks.

"The aim is to create a high quality business park which is zero-carbon and will attract new businesses to the Purbeck district that wouldn't otherwise consider it.

"We are very excited by it and we are confident that with the right marketing, strong management and close co-operation with our tenants, we can create a business park that will be thriving and successful."

The purchase of the 127-acre site has been agreed for an undisclosed sum and the syndicate will now be working with the Prince's Foundation to draw up guidelines for new buildings on the site.

Mr Slowe said: "Our intention is to make the park as attractive as possible to as wide a range of businesses as possible, from hi-tech office use, right through to sheds."

He added that investigations were being made into a series of environmentally-friendly ways to provide energy for the park.

"We are looking at a series of options, including co-locating a waste energy centre that will create bio gas to drive a gas generator, which will provide the park with both heat and electricity.

"We are particularly excited by the concept of changing the park from being the support site for the adjacent nuclear site through to a park that is run entirely from renewable energy.

"We believe it will be an interesting demonstration that renewable energy is viable in the commercial environment."

The park will also create a lot more jobs, right next door to the nuclear site where jobs have been lost in the decommissioning process.

Mr Slowe also stressed that businesses had nothing to fear about moving to the park so close to a formerly active nuclear facility.

He said: "Prospective tenants can be assured that the park has been fully decommissioned and has been subject to significantly more tests than perhaps any other land in the UK. It has been declared 100 per cent clear."

Mr Slowe said there were also plans to run a regular bus service between the business park and Wool train station.