Hub hope for hill Plan for centre at popular spot
APOPULAR tourist spot could be set for new facilities, if a planning application is approved. The 58.57 hectare site of Crickley Hill is of ‘biological, geological and archaeological significance,’ and plans for a new visitor centre could be welcomed by nature-lovers drawn to the ‘beautiful Cotswold countryside.’
The proposed visitor hub at the site near Cheltenham and Gloucester will be situated close to an existing cafe building.
Proposals show it will be clad in timber to ‘reflect the existing structures’ and will be ‘fitted out with information boards and an electronic screen’ to display educational information about wildlife and archaeological features of Crickley Hill.
Despite attracting 250,000 visitors annually, Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust said in the planning statement that they do not ‘anticipate or desire’ an increase in overall visitors.
Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust and the National Trust hope the new facility will help ‘engage with existing visitors.’
The application reveals the proposed structure will be small and have ‘very little impact on the environment or archaeology,’ as ‘no foundations are required’ and the structure can be removed and installed ‘within one day.’
They say the proposed hub ‘directly responds’ to a visitor need for ‘better information and interpretation on what makes Crickley Hill special.’
The site, which was established in 1979, has evidence of settlements ‘well over 5000 years back’ and is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI); as is sits on the ‘predominantly oolitic Jurassic Limestone belt.’ Crickley Hill boasts beautiful scenic views of the Gloucestershire countryside and the Severn Vale, and families are attracted to the area for walking and butterfly spotting. The application was submitted on January 7 2019, and is currently going through the planning application process with Tewkesbury Borough Council.
The application has the support of Badgeworth parish council. phillip.thomp[email protected]plc.com
Artist’s impressions of the proposed hub for Crickley Hill