Brooklands situation

Author

admin

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

Sir,

I am sure all readers enjoyed your Back to the Future article, on Brooklands. However, if further progress is to be made then I believe that press emphasis is needed on current problems. Wider knowledge of these may well prompt solutions.

On the domestic front there is the ever-present need for the Brooklands Museum Trust Ltd to obtain adequate funds to develop the Museum site so that it can offer a first class interpretation of the history of Brooklands and provide for the many motoring events needing reasonable driving space. Elmbridge Council has provided over £600,000 start-up finance and much organisational support. The Council now depends on the Museum Trust to organise finance and support which, indeed, it is doing.

However, support is hampered by the existence of two separate bodies, the Friends of the Museum and the Brooklands Society. I have written to Lord Tombs, Chairman of the Museum Trust, to suggest how the problems keeping these bodies apart might be solved. The main area of dissent centres on the need, or otherwise, for the production of a new constitution for a new combined body. The present ‘Friends’ constitution over-protects the Museum Trust and allows for little independence. Given the fact that most Trusts, of which the Museum Trust is no exception, are set up as autocratic, self-perpetuating bodies it is essential that a supporting body for the Museum project must have a reasonable degree of independence and be democratically controlled by its subscribing members. Particularly, it needs objectives which will enable it to deal with all aspects of the Brooklands Heritage site. Whilst its obvious concern will be to support the Museum Trust it must not be disbarred from separate or even different action to the Museum Trust since it must reflect the wishes of its members.

So far, there appears to be little appreciation for the need of such a constitution and the Museum Trust clearly prefers a more sycophantic constitution which would largely duplicate that provided for the present ‘Friends’. This problem can be solved with goodwill.

The non-domestic problem is more serious. Trafalgar House Business Parks Ltd, and/or its immediate associated companies, has fought Surrey County Council’s attempts (backed by the local Elmbridge Council) to declare the central runway area of Brooklands as Green Belt. At the moment SCC is winning but there may yet be more appeals. It is just this central area which needs to remain open both as a setting for the Museum site and to enable supporting motoring events to take place. THBP Ltd also owns the remaining Banking, principally the listed Railway Straight as well as the remains of the Byfleet Banking, and also owns and operates sections of the central Brooklands road network as private roads which are physically restricted against public use. Supporters of the Museum would like to see the Railway Straight handed over to the Museum with use of the central runway areas for events, access and future Museum structures. The local Council/SCC would like the internal road network made over so that proper public traffic management and traffic calming measures may be instituted, particularly with regard to the massive increase in industrial, office and residential units which has been allowed, much to the benefit of THBP Ltd.

However, so far no progress has been made or is being made. Some councillors suggest that the reason why no progress is possible is that the landowners may be pursuing a ‘Ransom’ policy of holding back the real benefits to the Museum and the public in order to force our Councils to allow large scale development in the central area. I would like to call on Lord Tombs to solve the domestic ‘Constitutional’ problems for a new Museum supporting body, and on Trafalgar House Business Parks Ltd to solve the outstanding land and road network problems. Such goodwill is very much needed to further the generally professed interest in the Brooklands Heritage. ClIr Ernest Mallett,
Mayor of Elmbridge,
Surrey.