The Soldiers of Oxfordshire Trust is funding the construction of a new museum building within the grounds of the Oxfordshire Museum, Woodstock. This is the biggest new public sector project in woodstock since the building of the town hall in the early eighteenth century. English Heritage, Woodstock Town Council and West Oxfordshire district council all objected to the proposals on design and heritage impact grounds. In the face of this authoritative opposition, and in what we consider to be a biased report, the head of sustainable development dismissed objections as ‘subjective’ and the county council planning committee granted consent in 2010. The majority of surroundings residents were not consulted yet the building under construction has serious repercussions on both the conservation area and surrounding homes. At a height of at least a four-storey house it will tower over the listed wall, surrounding lanes and listed buildings.
This is a development that we consider should never have been granted consent, that we think would not have been allowed to a private developer, and on which we were not adequately consulted. We feel strongly that Oxfordshire County Council has behaved with scant regard to national policy, local people or due process.
We object to (i) the inappropriate design and scale of the new Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum in Woodstock and (ii) the detrimental impact it is already having on Woodstock’s conservation area, listed boundary wall, historic streetscape and surrounding homes. We call upon Oxfordshire County Council to:
1. Re-design the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum without the excessively large, bulky and unattractive first floor structure;
2. Take action to repair and preserve for future generations the Oxfordshire Museum’s beautiful listed boundary wall;
3. Stop building work until the health and safety issues and listed building consent issues are resolved;
4. Fully consult with local residents on any future planning proposals; and
5. Properly consider local planning policies and take into account valid and authoritative objections made in respect of future proposals.
If you would like to help or you have any questions please email Sue McGlynn, Michael Farley, and the team, at firstname.lastname@example.org