CAMPAIGN UPDATE – Marching towards better days!
In the past month we have made considerable progress with our campaign which has generated overwhelming support from across Britain and beyond. Media coverage has included the BBC Online (see www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-35978418), Radio 4, BBC London News and London Live (see: www.youtube.com/channel/UC1mebB7LLzqoY89ojB91MCw), the Evening Standard, Jewish Chronicle, local papers and more besides.
After meeting with campaign founder Jason Charalambous and historical advisor Dr Helen Fry, the Chief Executive of Bletchley Park, Mr Iain Standen wrote an article on his personal blog highlighting the importance of a museum at Trent Park: https://historicmusingsblog.wordpress.com/…/an-uncertain-f…/
Berkeley Homes who intend to develop the site into flats and houses, exhibited their initial master plan for the site over the past few days – it can be downloaded here: http://www.trent-park.com/…/consultation-3-berkeley-trent-p…
With regards to our call for the listed mansion house to include a museum, Berkeley propose to offer only half the ground floor and a third of the basement, with the remainder forming two flats, one of which will have use of the terrace. The upper floors (including attic) to also be converted into flats. They also propose that the museum will be accessed through a side door on the East Wing, with the grand front entrance to the mansion reserved exclusively for residents only.
Whilst this initial proposal is a good start, and a reflection of the hard work countless people have put in since this campaign was launched, Berkeley’s plans are unacceptable in their current form.
For a museum to succeed and thrive, and achieve its full potential as a national attraction, it needs to be of sufficient scale and therefore include the entire ground floor and basement as a minimum. A café and gift shop are essential features of any museum and these also need to be factored in together with sufficient exhibition space to tell the estate’s extraordinary history. Nothing less than public access through the mansion’s grand front entrance will do. Ultimately the two proposed flats on the ground floor and basement – less than 1% of the total units they are proposing on the site (245 in total), must also be dedicated to the public.
Berkeley have yet to confirm whether the restored swimming pool will enjoy public use or be reserved exclusively for residents.
We are currently working with a team of leading specialists on a comprehensive museum concept and business plan – it will illustrate how our vision for Trent Park mansion to become a world class World War Two museum can be achieved. It will form the basis for continued negotiations with Berkeley Homes and Enfield Council to ensure that sufficient space is allocated for the public benefit.
We have come a long way since our campaign was launched just a year and a half ago, and we could not have done so without your support – thank you so very much. We still have some way to go (Berkeley have said they intend to submit a planning application in the Autumn), however we believe we are on track to secure a positive future for Trent Park that will honour the extraordinary role it played in our Nation’s history and leave a legacy that will benefit the public for generations to come. In the words of Sir Winston Churchill, we believe we are “marching towards better days”.
Please continue to share our petition and encourage others to sign it: https://www.change.org/p/berkeley-group-save-trent-park-the… and thank you again for your invaluable support.