Hub hope for hill Plan for cen­tre at pop­u­lar spot

Gloucestershire Echo - - NEWS - By PHILLIP THOMP­SON

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

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