PLANNING permission has been granted for a museum proposal that has drawn a mixed response in Biggin Hill.
Councillors have approved plans drawn up by the Biggin Hill Memorial Museum Trust for a new visitor facility at St George’s RAF Chapel of Remembrance in Main Road, Biggin Hill.
The trust’s plans have the backing of the local MP Jo Johnson, but have been criticised by some residents, including Josie Cole, president of the Biggin Hill Society, who described the proposal as “awful” and like “a walled prison”.
In a statement released today, Bromley council said the trust had advanced a “sensitive” design that was endorsed by both Historic England and the council’s planning officers.
Councillor Stephen Carr, leader of Bromley council, said: “The long held vision for a museum at Biggin Hill has taken a major step forward. The story of Churchill’s ‘Strongest Link’ will be told to future generations at the place it actually happened and we will remember all those who served there.”
Bruce Walker, chairman of the trust, added: “This is enormously positive news. We can now firmly focus on finally building the memorial museum that so many want to see.
“We are hopeful that construction will start later this year so that the museum can open in time to be part of commemorations for the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. The museum will be a permanent and fitting tribute and crucially, a place for reflection and learning, alongside the continued worship at St George’s Chapel.”
The trust now hopes to secure additional Heritage Lottery funding of £2m in June. If it is successful, building work will commence in October.