An Es­sex trans­port mu­seum is un­der threat of be­ing de­mol­ished for hous­ing.

Home to 40 clas­sics and restora­tion firm to be bull­dozed for hous­ing

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - News - Nick Larkin

An Es­sex trans­port mu­seum and a ve­hi­cle restora­tion busi­ness face an un­cer­tain fu­ture af­ter plan­ning per­mis­sion is granted for houses to be built on the site of their his­toric premises.

The Great Yeld­ham Trans­port Col­lec­tion has housed around 40 ve­hi­cles, from buses to 1990s clas­sic cars in a wartime air­craft hangar orig­i­nally sited at RAF Big­gin Hill and once used by Spit­fire air­craft. The build­ing was dis­man­tled and moved to Es­sex in the 1950s. The mu­seum has been at Hunnable In­dus­trial Es­tate, Great Yeld­ham for the past six years.

Col­lec­tion chair­man Tony Free­man reck­ons three months’ no­tice could be served at any mo­ment. ‘Al­though the pos­si­bil­ity of the site be­ing used for hous­ing is noth­ing new, the grant­ing of per­mis­sion to build comes as a shock,’ he says. ‘We are look­ing at other build­ings but doubt we could af­ford any hangar like this.

‘Al­ready the own­ers of some of the ve­hi­cles in our col­lec­tion have trans­ferred them else­where. We can’t blame them.’

Ve­hi­cle own­ers at the mu­seum have of­ten ben­e­fit­ted from the skills of MCV En­gi­neer­ing, also based at the site, and which main­tains and re­stores clas­sic cars.

The firm is run by father and son Alan and An­thony Brown. ‘We are very sad to have to move. We have an ex­cel­lent re­la­tion­ship with the trans­port mu­seum and do a lot of work for them as well as stor­ing our own clas­sics here,’ says Alan.

Ju­lian Hunnable of site owner Hunnable Hold­ings was sym­pa­thetic with the mu­seum’s plight but said the de­mo­li­tion had to take place. ‘To be hon­est, the rent be­ing paid on the build­ing isn’t cov­er­ing its costs and I’m pay­ing the coun­cil £8000 a month in busi­ness rates on empty build­ings on this site,’ he ex­plains. ‘This can’t go on.’

Ju­lian was un­able to say when the trans­port col­lec­tion would have to leave the build­ing, or when work on the hous­ing de­vel­op­ment would be­gin.

Brain­tee Coun­cil has granted out­line plan­ning per­mis­sion for 60 homes on part of the in­dus­trial es­tate site.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.