Attractions industry news

07 Jun 2019

Plans for Mullin UK car museum get the go-ahead

Proposals for a world-class automotive museum in the heart of the English countryside have moved a step further to realisation after West Oxfordshire District Council awarded outline planning permission for the plans.

The Mullin Automotive Park will be situated over 63 hectares at a disused airfield – Enstone – near Chipping Norton in Oxfordshire, UK. It would provide public access to view the classic car collection of US businessman Peter Mullin, founder of M Financial Group, who established the Mullin Automotive Museum in California, US, in 2010.

Since then, new designs for the museum have been drawn up by London architects Foster + Partners. The firm said the design "draws inspiration from the idea of a rural estate", with "a journey through a carefully considered landscape towards the main building that forms an integral part of the overall experience for visitors".

There will be a small cluster of buildings, including a cafe, at the entrance to the site, from where visitors can walk to the museum. This is designed as a crescent-shaped collection of buildings, nestled amongst green parkland. Specially designed roads allow for "exercising" cars from the collection, giving visitors an immersive experience.

The proposals also include a series of residential pavilions and landscaped lodges within the grounds, while the museum itself will be maximised for thermal performance, with a range of measures designed to minimise energy consumption.

Peter Mullin said the driving force behind the museum plan was an educational one: "I don't regard myself as a collector of wonderful classic cars, but more as a custodian of a collection which I want to make available in a public forum well beyond my lifetime.

"My philosophy has always been to assist with education and innovation and to illuminate the past for the benefit of the future. The impact of the automobile on our modern way of life deserves to be recorded in the most imaginative, educational and absorbing way possible."

The proposals have not been without opposition, with around 180 letters against them being received by the council, while 220 were received supporting them. The plans were passed by the council by 12 votes to seven.

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