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Planning Permission for New Visitor Centre Granted

Planning permission for the proposed visitor centre at Thrupp Lake has been granted, some 20 months since the Planning Committee referred it back to the officers in June 2011. While Oxfordshire Highways may now have relented in relation to their outright objection, which was the reason for the long delay, they have not done so without imposing numerous, some potentially onerous, conditions on the permission in relation to access and traffic.

The approved proposals include provision for 25 parking spaces, which should be adequate to meet current needs, but before these spaces can be made available for use, a scheme of highway maintenance and safety improvements for Thrupp Lane has to be submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority. This scheme shall include details of road widening, vegetation clearance, passing bay improvements, footway / cycle ways and associated safety audits. The approved highway improvement details shall be provided prior to the opening of the visitor centre building and car park to the general public.

The implication is that the Earth Trust would have to fund the improvements.

Update 11 January 2014

The Earth Trust has successfully appealed against the condition requiring that they undertake traffic improvements to Thrupp Lane, and has succeeded in having it removed. This means that there is now no planning impediment to the demolition of Sandles and construction of the Visitor Centre. Developing the business plan and raising the necessary funds, objectives that appear far from easy at the present time, are the next steps.

The Inspector nevertheless recognised the necessity to carry out improvements to Thrupp Lane, but these will now have to be undertaken and funded by Oxfordshire County Council as the responsible Highway Authority.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.radleyvillage.org.uk/planning-permission-for-new-visitor-centre-granted/