Chocs away for the Wings Museum – unless it joins Dunsfold Park’s tribute to the past?

An application to build Dunsfold Airfield Mark 2 – on land adjacent to Dunsfold Airfield Mark 1 – was flatly REFUSED – by Waverley Planners – who deemed it too big, in fact, claiming it was better suited to either Heathrow or Gatwick!

It beggars belief why Waverley’s head honcho led her planning numpties into recommending approval of a scheme to build an aviation museum councillors described as “bizarre;” “massive;” “huge;” “enormous” hangars more fitting for Heathrow or Gatwick.

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The land adjacent to Dunsfold Park has been purchased by the West-Sussex based Wing Museum Trust from a local landowner, who no doubt, wanted to put two fingers up to the Flying Scot because the laddie has permission to build a Museum and 1,800 new homes on the airfield site adjacent? That land is marked in blue on the map above.

One councillor after another – even an absent Alfold Borough councillor Kevin Deanus, slammed the plan to build on land east of Benbow Lane off Dunsfold Road. A rural road Alfold Parish Council Chairman Nick Pigeon described as – in a bad state of repair.
However, a Wings Spokesman said the Museum, attracting 28,000 visitors to view the planes in a proposed 10,000 sqm hangar would be good for the borough’s economy, -with classrooms and library for education, a shop, library; coach and car parks, and a dedicated section dealing with Dunsfold Aerodrome’s history would be a huge asset.

It was financially sound with money to forge ahead with the exciting scheme on land it owned and to include an adjacent nature reserve, where the remains of WW2 buildings still stand.
The scheme was “unique” and would be a successful asset to the area.
Objector Chris Britton – or (Little Britton as he is known locally) said the scheme raised some serious issues – as the applicant had no relationship with Dunsfold Park. What if this multi-million-pound Museum failed in this rural area on agricultural land, which, he claimed, had never been within the airfield boundary and if allowed it would set a dangerous precedent for other similar areas around the new settlement.
“This proposed hangar could accommodate 342 double-decker buses or even Concorde and is eight times bigger than the existing Wings Museum.”
Several councillors claimed the access would be far too close to an existing DP access, and why hadn’t SCC highways objected?

The WW asks  – is this outfit (SCC highways) any longer fit for purpose?

Why wasn’t it part of the Dunsfold Masterplan councillors asked? Why wasn’t the applicant talking to Dunsfold Park? Why? were officers recommending approval when the whole idea of the DP Masterplan was to plan – future development – and which included a new Aviation Museum?
“This is bizarre,” claimed Mary Foryszewski – “we could end up with two Museums.”
In a letter read out by Councillor John Gray, Kevin Deanus claimed the size of the building – was so large “it will make Gatwick and Heathrow jealous. And to claim it was part of the airfield, and within touching distance of proposed new homes was stretching credibility too far.”
Any access to any future Museum should be off the A281.
For once, Betty Boot rolled back from her usual stance of kicking councillors into submission? She actually became more accommodating – perhaps now she is retiring, she is beginning to feel some remorse for the mess she has helped get the East of the borough into?
Has anyone told BB about the Dunsfold Masterplan? That a Museum already exists and described by Bramley’s By-Pass Byham as – ramshackle, dilapidated buildings manned by a few volunteers – is to be replaced? It’s in the Masterplan ducky!

Calling out to the public gallery BBPB said to another Betty Sorry Betty (we know not who Betty is – but I shall be supporting this application.”
No doubt quite forgetting his usual concern for the heavy traffic which he would like to By-Pass Bramley? But then what’s another 28,000 visitors’ cars between friends?
Councillor Mike band described the scheme – as an “extraordinary place to consider putting an enormous Museum. “Wrong place, wrong size, without the right partners!”
Although some councillors suggested deferral, others wanted an outright rejection and it was REFUSED by 11 votes to By-Pass’s One.


2 thoughts on “Chocs away for the Wings Museum – unless it joins Dunsfold Park’s tribute to the past?”

  1. I am so glad it has been refused. However I hope The Wings Museum – sit down with DP and the existing Museum and come up with something more appropriate within the New Settlement which can then use the new Access road to the A281. with out the need to drive around the Crossways and onto Dunsfold road.

    I am frankly quite shocked that SCC highways seem to think Dunsfold Road is suitable for this sort of traffic – But to be quite honest they seem to think that pretty much everything Developers come up with is OK and therefore no Objection.

    Quite why Cllr. Byham was for this is beyond me – He would have man of the coaches coming through Bramley – I am sure the village of Bramley would not be best impressed with that!!

    This Objection was raised by the Dunsfold Airfield History Society Ltd

    ” ….We object to the proposal on the basis of its completely inappropriate size, its rural location off the airfield site, and the viability of the applicant’s plan to preserve Dunsfold historic artefacts.Whilst we would be very supportive in principle of a proposal to develop a small museum to continue to celebrate and preserve artefacts and memories of the airfield site, we feel it would be a missed opportunity if it were not located on the airfield site itself, and preferably incorporating one of the existing structures that were built for aviation use. Our Society has worked hard to secure preservation of some of the important historic features, with Grade II Listing of 5 structures on the airfield. We would not wish to see the un-necessary destruction of rural countryside off-site, when such an opportunity already exists within the airfield itself. Our Society and the Reg Day Museum, currently housed on the aerodrome, have collectively the biggest archive and collection of artefacts directly connected with Dunsfold Aerodrome. However if combined we doubt it would occupy more than 150sqm of museum space. Neither Reg Day Museum
    nor Dunsfold Airfield History Society have expressed an intention to partner with Wings Museum.
    The Wings Museum Trust suggest what they hope to achieve but have not secured significant display items and do not have any archive or artefacts connected with Dunsfold and so we are bemused at their proposal for 4000sqm of Museum space to tell the Story of Dunsfold. Likewise they appear to have no complete airframes for display that have a connection with the history of Dunsfold. So a proposal to build 10,000sqm of Museum space seems 8 times too big for the tangible needs for a Museum. We would question the motivation for such a proposal…”

    As I have said before – I think there is something very Fishy about these two applications, We don’t need a separate Museum to compete with the one at DP and we don’t need a nature reserve – we have plenty of open countryside with Public footpaths and Bridleways.. Nor do we need these massive structures and the concreting of over 10,000sqm of what is currently rural countryside (despite a few WWII remaining structures – which were given to the country for the war effort and should be returned to their original pre-war status)

    Should they have gained Permission and the museum failed..what would then happen to what Really would then be a Brownfield Site???? More Storage? perhaps a Huge Super Market to accommodate the new DP settlement? or maybe a new Science park … should the land be sold to Trinity College Cambs (owners of DP) it would fit in nicely with their many other Developments across the country?

  2. Well said. We did not include all the objections – due to lack of space. But you have summed them up precisely.
    We ask – why isn’t the Wings outfit tlking to the Wings & Wheels outfit? As they (W) obviously have oodles of cash.

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