Edwinstowe Parish councillors have approved revised plans for a controversial new visitor centre on the edge of Sherwood Forest, attracting criticism from residents living close to the site.
The councillors voted unanimously in favour of the plans at a meeting last night, Wednesday 30 November, in spite of potential problems that include a likely increase in traffic congestion and reduced parking and toilet provision.
Nottinghamshire County Councillor John Peck went some way to address the problems, saying: “The big one for us as a village is going to be traffic management. I have written to the highways department to request traffic calming measures, a reduced speed limit and a new pedestrian crossing.”
However, for the six members of the public at the meeting Councillor Peck’s response didn’t go far enough to ease concerns. They complained that they hadn’t been listened to during the consultation process and asked why the parish council hadn’t held its own public consultation.
Four residents spoke at the end of the meeting, voicing concerns about the reduction in parking spaces; a drop-off point that is likely to cause traffic jams; excessive noise from an open amphitheatre that will back onto houses; an increased number of commercial vehicles and the negative impact on local wildlife.
The proposed visitor centre will be based at Forest Corner, Edwinstowe, and managed by a consortium led by the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds).
The Parish Council will now pass its decision to Newark and Sherwood District Council for consideration as part of the planning approval process. The visitor centre is expected to open in early 2018.