Artists impression of the Bennely Viaduct visitor centre

Planning Application for a new ramp, car park and visitor centre at the iconic heritage site Bennerley Viaduct has been successful!

The Friends of Bennerley Viaduct are thrilled to announce that the planning application for the Eastern Ramp, Car Park, and Visitor Centre at the Grade-II* listed Bennerley Viaduct has been successful! The decision was announced this morning by Broxtowe Borough Council, whose planners had to process an outpouring of positive comments on the application, a significant display of Public support. Thank you to our members, friends and community who took the time to send letters. The successful application comes with no pre-commencement conditions, which demonstrates a strong endorsement of the need for this development, and the positive impact it will have on our local area.

This vital project can now begin. We will create an accessible ramp for pedestrians and cyclists, enhancing accessibility and active travel routes. Our new visitor centre and car park will develop the viaduct into a visitor attraction and place for local people to come together, with its new education space and community café. This development will help us share our incredible viaduct, and the beauty of the Erewash Valley, with tourists, cyclists, heritage enthusiasts and walkers, from across the nation and beyond.

The Friends of Bennerley Viaduct are very grateful to our key partners for enabling this project to happen, which includes the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Broxtowe Borough Council, Harworth Estates Ltd, Pegasus Group for their support with the application, architects Marsh Grochowski, Chartered Building Consultants Davey Stone Associates, Civil Engineers Nicoll McBrayne and Railway Paths Ltd.

Next steps:

Our team has dedicated significant effort to this design. The next steps are to progress the ecological surveys, address minor conditions with small adaptations, and work with our partners to schedule the capital works. This will take some time but we hope to see you all at a groundbreaking celebration shortly. The Friends of Bennerley Viaduct will be fundraising this winter for elements of the new centre and nature reserve area which sit outside of the generous grant. If you can support us please visit our website this winter for updates.

About the application:

The envisioned visitor centre will feature a design reminiscent of connected train carriages, accentuated by a glass connection. We plan to finish the centre with corten steel, reflecting the viaduct’s use of metal, a harmonious link to its heritage. The visitor centre will offer an education space for local schools, an exhibition space, a café, and toilet facilities.

The application site is currently grassland, with an existing surfaced path connecting a pedestrian route across the viaduct with A6096, Shilo Way. The proposed embankment, created using nearby earth, will provide a three-meter-wide pedestrian and cycle route leading to the deck of Bennerley Viaduct.

The surrounding area will feature long-liner paving and outdoor seating, creating a welcoming space for families and visitors. The development will also provide 22 car parking spaces, including three for disabled visitors, along with a bike store.

Quote from the Chair, John Scruton:  The Friends of Bennerley Viaduct are thrilled to receive the positive planning decision from Broxtowe Borough Council. We are grateful to the Council, friends and supporters for their support on this application. We look forward to working with our consultants and contractors to turn this ambitious plan into reality.

Posted on 01 November 2023

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Jack Woolley