SOUTH Gloucestershire Council is proving its green credentials by agreeing to build a new eco-friendly council headquarters in Yate, at a cost of £29 million.

Planning watchdogs have given the green light for the innovative office complex on the junction of Badminton Road and Stover Road.

The offices, which will include wind turbines, a biomass boiler and automatic lighting controls, will be the council's third main regional centre after Thornbury and Kingswood.

Councillors hope the complex, due to be open by 2010, will ultimately save taxpayers' money by bringing around 900 staff from rented offices across the area under one roof.

Savings will come from selling ageing council-owned offices, ending property leases and introducing modern working practices at the new office.

It is thought the council could save around £1.4million a year over the life of the building.

The cost of the complex will be met through the sale of properties that will no longer be used and borrowing.

The site will provide only 395 car parking spaces, as the authority wants to encourage employees to use car sharing and public transport.

Council spokesman Ryan Skeets said: "The new offices will be a key part of the council's accommodation plan to increase efficiency and concentrate the administrative function of the council on three main sites at Kingswood, Thornbury and Badminton Road.

"The accommodation plan will also enable the development of frontline services near to where people live making them more accessible, and will save taxpayers around £1m per year over the next 60 years.

"The offices are designed to be energy efficient and sustainable, including renewable technologies such as a biomass boiler.

Construction is planned to commence during the summer of 2008 and the building is due to become operational in 2010."

South Gloucestershire Council ran a public consultation on the plans last year and received outline planning permission for the scheme in March.