DaimlerChrysler UK has received outline planning permission for a Mercedes-Benz Heritage and Technology Centre at Brooklands in Surrey, southern England.
The centre, on a 150 acre site at Weybridge, will be a technological showcase for Mercedes-Benz passenger cars and will commemorate the history of the marque and its association with the famous Brooklands racetrack.
DaimlerChrysler UK Retail managing director Geoff Brady said: “The [local] planning committee recognised that the project will protect the heritage of the site and the Brooklands Museum, and create an attractive environment for local people and motor enthusiasts.”
The decision follows public consultation with representatives of DaimlerChrysler meeting hundreds of people at meetings with local residents, Brooklands’ enthusiasts and environmental and historical agencies.
Brady added: “Our plans will give the site the protection and development it deserves and preserve and celebrate the rich history of Brooklands.”
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DCUK is purchasing the central area of the Brooklands site from the Universities’ Superannuation Scheme (USS), subject to obtaining the planning consent it needs for the project to proceed.
The plans for the centre includes a flood compensation scheme that will help reduce the impact of flooding on the Brooklands museum and local homes, a 60 acre country park and riverside nature walks, defining two local roads as public highways and creating a local bus service.
The centre will be housed in a purpose-designed single building with display galleries and technology centre. The long history of racing Mercedes cars at Brooklands will be featured and the theatre, visitor, education and hospitality facilities will also be open to local businesses and schools.
The new building will be next to the Brooklands museum and historic motor racing circuit and the centre will encourage Mercedes-Benz UK customers and visitors to learn about the evolution of the present day range. The centre will also allow customers to customise and collect their new cars and to drive vehicles on a specially designed circuit.
DaimlerChrysler UK has also proposed a business park development adjacent to the existing light industrial area and a four star hotel plus an additional access road and parking for the existing Brooklands museum.