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Calls for residents to fight Drakelow Tunnels plan
6:40am Friday 23rd August 2013 in News
CALLS have been made for Wolverley residents to fight proposals to create a museum and build six houses at the Drakelow Tunnels site.
Former Wyre Forest District Councillor Nigel Addison is urging residents to object to the planning application for the former Second World War aero engine factory, which has been submitted by owners Quercus Ilex SA.
The proposals are for a museum, gift shop and coffee shop to be built at the site which will be paid for by six semi-detached homes built further along a restricted byway.
Resident Pat Cartwright, of Kingsford Lane, is objecting to the proposals as she said the six houses will be built in a wooded area protected by Tree Preservation Orders.
Mrs Cartwright said: “There’s nothing in the plans about the Tree Preservation Orders. There’s no way they can put three semi-detached blocks without damaging them. All trees are precious.
“They also make out in the plans that the houses will be built on a road. It’s a public footpath.”
Mrs Cartwright added that drainage would be a problem as planners were “not keen on” cesspits, which her home has.
Mr Addison objects to the proposals as he claims there is no significant demand for the facilities.
He said: “The tunnels are open to the public on private visits only. Are we to assume that once these facilities are open, the tunnels will become a seven day a week tourist attraction, thus bringing heavy volumes of traffic on the local roads?”
The last major development plans for the site were drawn up by Jericho Community Business in 2007 to turn the tunnel complex into a training centre for disadvantaged people.
Mr Addison added: “I am amazed at the lack of protest over this application. When Jericho applied the village was festooned with Save our Greenbelt posters, residents wrote in their droves objecting, as well as attending meetings, but so far, nothing seems to be happening to stop this application.”
The decision as to whether the planning permission will be given has been delegated to officers at Wyre Forest District Council.
Quercus Ilex SA’s application states the visitor centre will create two full time jobs and that the museum will add to the tourist facilities in Wyre Forest.
The application also proposes that a nature walk connects the tunnels with the 19th Century Baxter Monument.
Wolverley and Cookley Parish Council will be discussing the plans on Tuesday, September 3 and the official consultation closes on Thursday, September 5.
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