Edgars has been working with Fosters and Partners on behalf of the Mullin Automotive Museum Limited and the Great Tew Estate to secure an outline planning permission for the erection of a world class automotive museum and park. The brief was to deliver a one-of-a-kind museum experience, in the heart of the Cotswolds.
The proposals comprise a state of the art galleries, museum, a demonstration road and 28 no. private lodges. Whilst there are no significant environmental designations across the application site, the brownfield site is located within the open countryside and is sensitive in terms of landscape, ecology and highways impacts.
The original application, submitted by the client and without a planning consultant, proved to be incredibly contentious locally, resulting in a number of technical objections and was withdrawn following concerns raised by the Local Authority regarding the principle of development. The key challenge was demonstrating to the Local Authority that the proposal was policy compliant as a “tourism development” rather than housing scheme and that technical objections could be addressed. We were appointed after the first withdrawal to lead negotiations with the Local Authority.
Through extensive pre-application discussions with the senior management team and officers within the Local Authority the development was promoted as a tourism led development, whereby there is a clear physical and functional relationship between the museum and lodge development. All technical reports were revised to ensure that they robustly supported the proposed development.
In order to balance the limited harm in respect of landscape, a package of CIL compliant public benefits was proposed in support of the application, totalling £1.7 million, including the delivery of affordable housing, highway and environmental improvements. The scheme was promoted
beyond the Local Authority, triggering letters of support from Visit England and Experience Oxfordshire.
Whilst the application still proved to be contentious locally, no technical objections were received. Officers accepted the principle of this tourism led development and reported the application to Planning Committee with a recommendation of approval. Through our targeted engagement with Councillors, they accepted the proposals were policy compliant, with no technical objections, and was delivering a significant package of CIL compliant public benefits to balance the limited landscape harm.
Even in the face of significant opposition from the public gallery, Councillors resolved to grant outline planning permission. Finally, whilst the threat of judicial review was continually raised through the determination of the application, no challenge materialised.
If you’re looking for planning consultants to assist you with commercial buildings, education facilities, masterplanning and more, we can help. Get in touch with us on 01865731700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.