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Museum plan unveiled for Drakelow Tunnels near Kinver
5:00pm Wednesday 21st August 2013 in News
PLANS have been submitted to turn the historic Drakelow Tunnels complex near Kinver into a museum and coffee shop.
Site owners Quercus Ilex SA have put in an application to Wyre Forest planners to transform the former Second World War aero engine factory off Kingsford Lane, Wolverley.
The proposal would see the old underground complex, at the back of Kinver Edge, converted into a museum, gift shop and coffee shop with visitor parking - which would all be funded by a further development of six semi-detached homes which Quercus hopes to built on a restricted byway.
Former Wyre Forest District Councillor Nigel Addison and Wolverley resident Pat Cartwright, however, are objecting to the plan.
Mrs Cartwright, of Kingsford Lane, 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.”
While Mr Addison 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 the museum will add to the tourist facilities in Wyre Forest.
Kinver Parish Council will discuss the proposal at its next planning meeting on Wednesday August 28 and Wyre Forest District Council’s official consultation on the scheme closes on Thursday September 5.
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