Flight museum visitor centre plans rejected after trees row

Museum bosses wanted to chop down 300 trees to move planes into a new hangar.

Flight museum visitor centre plans rejected after trees row

A £15m new visitor centre for the National Museum of Flight has been refused planning permission because it needed 300 trees to be chopped down

Museum chiefs told East Lothian Council’s planning committee the proposed site for the new 80-metre-high hangar was the only acceptable place.

And they said that the centre would bring 40 new jobs to the county, as well as pledging to replace the trees – which would have been felled to create a path to move planes – with a new woodland.

However, councillors rejected their claims and voted to refuse planning permission during a meeting which saw protesters clapping in the chambers and banging a drum outside.

The plans for the ‘Ready for Take Off’ project would have seen a new visitors centre created under a giant hangar which would house two historic planes which are currently kept outdoors at the museum site at East Fortune, as well as Concorde.

The hangar in which Concorde currently sits would then be used to bring a further plane indoors.

A National Museums Scotland spokeswoman said: “We are disappointed by the outcome of the East Lothian Council planning committee meeting.

“This is an important project for East Lothian. It will ensure the preservation of historically important aircraft, it will also create jobs and play a transformative role within the local tourism economy.

“We will now take stock and review our next steps.”

Story by local democracy reporter Marie Sharp

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