Friday, 27 July 2012

The Museum in the Cliffs

I was pleased to see that the planning application for the new museum and related cliff stabilisation was passed by the council's Development Control Committee with strong backing from all 4 party groups. This proposal addresses 3 issues. Firstly there remains a need to carry out further and significant stabilisation works in the area because of the continuing challenge of the soil conditions which exist along the cliffs from Belton Way to the Town Centre and threaten further land slips if the wrong weather and ground condition combine. Secondly the area of the current slip is unsightly and prevents safe public access in a central area which is important to the Town's public face. Thirdly it provides a proper home for a dramatic new museum to house the important Saxon King relics as well as other items and gives space for traveling exhibitions which will not only enable us to bring the Saxon King relics home but also greatly expand our tourist offer particularly in the context of trying to attract visitors for longer than a day. The Council has allocated scarce funds to carry out the required stabilisation but this does not include the reinstatement of the cliff as the funds for this are way beyond our resources. However by sinking the museum behind the stabilising wall we increase the effect, have a proposal which is more likely to attract funding and then have the opportunity to reinstate the cliff over the top to allow public access once again. It is simply wrong and misleading to suggest that we are able to stabilise, scrap the museum and reinstate the cliffs to their previous state.

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