US businessman plans classic car museum in Oxfordshire

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Classic carImage source, Mullin Automotive Museum
Image caption,
Peter Mullin set up the Mullin Automotive Museum in 2010

Plans for a multimillion-pound classic car museum in west Oxfordshire have been submitted.

US businessman and vintage car collector Peter Mullin is behind the vision for a 63-hectare site on part of Enstone Airfield, near Chipping Norton.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has objected as it believes countryside will be damaged and does not think it meets the area's needs.

But Mr Mullin said it would transform "a scarred brownfield site".

He added the disused section of airfield was currently "totally out of keeping with the surrounding area" and the project would add to the area's culture and heritage.

Image source, Portus+Whitton
Image caption,
About £150m would be invested in the entire project with the museum expected to cost about £24m to build

It is estimated the museum would cost about £24m to build and Mr Mullin is working with Nicholas Johnston, whose family owns the Great Tew Estate in west Oxfordshire, on the proposal.

It would include a demonstration track circling the main building but the application said it would not be used for racing.

A pavilion to be used by Bentley is proposed as well, along with 28 holiday homes.

In a letter of objection, Justine Garbutt from West Oxfordshire CPRE, said building "luxury second homes in sprawling countryside" would not fulfil the area's housing need.

A spokesmen for Mr Mullin said owners of the homes would be classic car owners and would be required to display their vehicles in the museum.

A statement added that the money generated by the properties was "required to make the project viable" and £4m would be spent on landscaping.

Image source, Portus+Whitton
Image caption,
A demonstration track would surround the museum on disused land at Enstone Airfield

Oxfordshire County Council has objected, partly because it believes the site has archaeological potential, and local parish councils have also expressed concerns about the impact on traffic.

The developers said it was "key consideration" and they would encourage visitors to use public transport and operate shuttle buses from Charlbury and Oxford Parkway train station.

Mr Mullin is chairman of Mullin Barens Sanford Financial - a financial and insurance services firm based in Los Angeles - and established the Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, California, in 2010.

The submission to West Oxfordshire District Council said his family had travelled to Oxfordshire for several years and were taken by its beauty and history.

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