Mercedes gets green-light at Brooklands

The DaimlerChrysler plans to redevelop the historic Brooklands site in Surrey, UK, will not be called in for a public inquiry. The company may now proceed with building a Mercedes Heritage & Technology Centre at the site, where Europe's first oval racing circuit was completed in 1907

Mercedes gets green-light at Brooklands

DaimlerChrysler's planning application was submitted to the Government Office of the South East (GOSE) for the Secretary of State to consider after the local had resolved to grant outline planning permission. The Secretary of State ruled that the benefits which the development would bring, particularly in terms of the restoration and long-term preservation of this important motor racing site, meant that the application should be decided by the council.

Geoff Brady, the MD of DaimlerChrysler UK Retail, said: "We are delighted that the project has been given the green light. We will now be working with Elmbridge BC to finalise our plans to save the Brooklands site, and create a unique experience for Mercedes-Benz and motor enthusiasts."

The centre on the 150-acre site at Weybridge will be a technological showcase for Mercedes-Benz passenger cars and will commemorate the history of the marque and its association with Brooklands. Brady continued: "The Secretary of State recognised that the project will bring a number of benefits that far outweigh some of the policy guidelines that have to be considered for developments on 'green-belt' [land]. Our plan will protect the heritage of the site and the Brooklands Museum, create an attractive environment for local people and motor enthusiasts, and protect the site from flooding."

The purchase of the central area of the Brooklands site, from the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), was subject to DaimlerChrysler obtaining planning consent. The plan for the Mercedes-Benz Heritage & Technology Centre includes a flood compensation scheme that will help to reduce the impact of flooding on the Brooklands Museum (and local homes), the creation of a 60-acre country park and riverside nature walks, opening 'Wellington Way' and part of 'Sopwith Drive' as a public highway, and creating a high-quality local bus service.

The Heritage & Technology Centre will be housed in a single building and will include display galleries and a technology centre. A feature will be made of the long history of racing Mercedes at Brooklands and the theatre, visitor, education and hospitality facilities will be made available to local businesses and schools.

The new building will be next to the Brooklands Museum. A business development is proposed adjacent to the existing light industrial area, as well as a 'four-star' hotel.

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