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Forncett St Peter's Norfolk Tank Museum is preparing to expand after trimming down its plans

A tank museum has performed a tactical retreat over plans to dramatically expand the attraction, following opposition from neighbours.

Norfolk Tank Museum in Forncett St Peter is still going ahead with a series of improvements, including additional museum space and a new café, kitchen and toilets.

However, the centrepiece of the project – a new educational building with space for two tanks and a teaching space – will not be as high as originally envisaged after neighbours raised concerns it would block their light.

Norfolk Tank Museum. Picture Guy Wisdom
Norfolk Tank Museum. Picture Guy Wisdom

Under the plans, which have been approved by South Norfolk Council, an existing cafe at the Station Road museum will be demolished.

The museum – operated by Stephen MacHaye (pictured) – houses a collection of armoured vehicles, weapons and militaria from the 20th century, including several vehicles from the Cold War period.

Neighbours at Bridge Farm wrote to the council to object to the museum’s initial plans, with concerns that the teaching building would overshadow their property.

The parish council welcomed the plans but also requested that the building be moved elsewhere on the site.

To address their concerns, the developer reduced the height of the roof.

A report by South Norfolk Council’s development officer said: “The proposal has been designed to minimise potential harm on the residential amenity of the neighbouring residential property and there is no harm to the character of the area.

“Adequate parking on site remains, while providing additional museum display, a new education building and cafe space for the established tank museum business. As such, the scheme accords with council policies and is recommended for approval.”

A series of conditions were imposed on the museum as part of the plans, including that the teaching space cannot be used as a workshop, to reduce noise.

Armed with about 40 volunteers on its books, the museum restores military vehicles and maintains those that have already been fixed.

The site possesses a unique collection of Centurion tanks, including an AVRE, a Mk13 Gun Tank and an ARV.

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