A Californian car museum could be recreated in the Costwolds after an enthusiast has submitted plans for a new facility. 

Collector Peter Mullin has applied to West Oxfordshire District Council to build an classic car museum and exhibition building at The Driving Centre, Enstone Airfield on the Great Tew Estate.

Along with the museum would be 16 holiday homes and four farmsteads in landscaped grounds.

The Crescent forms the centrepiece of the site, housing the museum, Members Club, members rooms, an events space and another residents' amenity space, 16 apartments and 20 residences.

Planning documents say: "The Mullin Automotive Museum will be an automotive experience that combines the spirit and the history of the British people’s love for the motorcar with their passion for the beauty of the English countryside, in a one-of-a-kind museum."

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Mr Mullin owns the prestigious Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, California, and has long been seeking to open a UK version in West Oxfordshire.

The first application, which would have seen up to 200 classic cars housed at the museum, was withdrawn in September 2018.

There were more than 180 objections many of them by locals living near the proposed site.

Designs drawn up by world-famous architect Norman Foster’s Foster + Partners for the facility and 28 holiday lodges were given outline planning permission in 2020.

Witney Gazette:

Mullin Automotive Museum Development Company Ltd is seeking new detailed planning permission as proposed alterations to the approved plans go beyond what is ordinarily permitted under a reserved matters application.

These include a second exhibition building, providing a space for temporary exhibitions alongside the permanent exhibits in the main museum, and the increased number of holiday homes.

A design statement says: "The increase is primarily due to the much smaller nature of the properties, allowing them to be positioned much more discreetly in the landscape, and reducing the overall development area."

The site is on former RAF airfield land, a portion of which was occupied most recently by Vision Motorsport, including a rally circuit and a performance car motorsport circuit.

In-depth pre-application discussions have taken place with West Oxfordshire District Council and the applicant and design team have held public consultations.

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According to planning documents feedback included how these proposals differ from the previous application, and concerns with traffic generation and the increase in the number of holiday homes.

The majority of attendees expressed an interest in how the immediate community will benefit from the scheme.

A planning statement says: "The Mullin Project is committed to delivering a world-class classic car museum in West Oxfordshire that benefits and works with the local community."



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This story was written by Miranda Norris, she joined the team in 2021 and covers news across Oxfordshire as well as news from Witney.

Get in touch with her by emailing: Miranda.Norris@newsquest.co.uk. Or find her on Twitter: @Mirandajnorris

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