David Eager, one of the Consuta trustees writes...
A scheme to build a Thames Heritage Museum at Beale Park near Pangbourne to house three historic steam boats is currently going to planning appeal after being repeatedly turned down by West Berkshire Council Local Planning Authority despite strong local support. We'd like to ask for your help.
The museum project has been designed to house exhibits and information on the heritage and development of powered boat building on the Thames. The museum would also be an ideal location to house the SBA’s own extensive collection of historic books drawings and photos which have been gathered ever since the SBA was formed. It will also house Consuta, the hugely historically significant steam umpires' launch, built nearby by local builder Sam Saunders in 1898. The other vessels are Cygnet, built by Thorneycroft and Co in 1870, again, a remarkable survivor, and Danola, built for Mr Palmer of Huntley and Palmer biscuits in 1894.
The Consuta Trust and its partner Thames Boats Trust have been campaigning for some time to develop a facility which allows the public to enjoy these magnificent craft and learn about the development of boat building on the river. An outline planning application to West Berkshire District Council last year was blocked by the planning officials despite 50 letters of support, including the local Basildon Parish Council, local MP Richard Benyon and nationally important organisations such as the Register of National Historic Ships.
Brian Smith, Chairman of The Consuta Trust, said: "We need as many people as possible to register their support for the appeal before the 31st January deadline.
Brian and the project team have put a great deal of effort into this campaign and there is a strong feeling amongst those who have worked on the application that we have not been treated at all fairly by the LPA.
If you'd like to see our Thames steam boat heritage preserved, please could I ask you to support the extensive work and cost that has already been put into this project, and write a letter or email of support urging the Appeal Officer to overturn the LPA's decision and examine whether the LPA has followed planning procedures fairly and correctly.
Comments on the appeal (reference 2208764) can be made either by email at TeamP7@pins.gsi.gov.uk
or by post to:
Attention of Nicolas Patch,
Temple Quay House,
2, The Square,
If like me you need a little help to get started with such a letter or email might I suggest something along the lines included in this sample document
(please pick some of the paragraphs below shuffle their order and adapt this to your own words).
Further details are available by following this link: http://www.consuta.org.uk/workshop/museum_appeal/appeal.htm