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Go-ahead for ambitious heritage centre and camp site plans for Welney family

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A heritage centre detailing the history of Welney and a camp site has been given the go-ahead.

Adam Giles has been given permission to use family land and disused buildings at Bramley House in Back Drove, Welney for the project.

Permission was granted by West Norfolk Council planning earlier this month for the change of use, and it’s hoped the development will attract visitors and help boost the limited supply of accommodation within the area.

A supporting statement submitted with the application last September explained: “The applicant and his family are steeped in Fen life and especially the unique characteristics of Welney. They intend to change one or more of the buildings to be a Welney Heritage Centre incorporating historic artefacts, photos, and video presentations showing detail of Welney life including land drainage, farming, and ice skating (the applicant is a professional filmmaker).”

One of the current buildings on site in Welney which form part of the proposal (42481484)
One of the current buildings on site in Welney which form part of the proposal (42481484)

The property to be developed is a former landscaping yard.

Permission has been granted for 20 camping pitches, but conditions attached to the go-ahead mean mobile homes and caravans will not be allowed on the site.

The Welney Heritage Centre will include historic artefacts, photos and videos of village life including drainage of the Fens, ice skating on the Welney wash and farming among others.

The statement pointed out: “The WWT Welney had 35,710 visitors 2017-18 and having reviewed holiday accommodation websites there is relatively little accommodation within the village or vicinity – indeed the WWT website focuses on accessibility from the nearest large towns and the transport network. It is considered the campsite would add to available accommodation for those wanting to visit the Washes for a longer period.”

It concluded: “The applicant and his family are passionate about the Fens and see the project as an important social and economic development to record the history of the area as well as providing economic benefits to the area.”

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