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Colchester MP backs visitor centre plan
4:00pm Monday 20th August 2012 in Colchester
COLCHESTER’S MP Sir Bob Russell has spoken out in favour of a controversial new visitor centre.
Ambitious plans have been submitted for a heritage and visitor centre at Horkesley Park.
The proposals, the fifth version of the scheme, have created outrage among some villagers, who claim a centre would destroy the peace and tranquility of the Dedham Vale.
But the scheme has won support from Sir Bob Russell , who says it would provide a boost to Colchester’s economy.
He said: “With the creation of about 150 jobs, I believe many of these will be taken by people living in Colchester.
“The proposal will also be an attraction for my constituents to visit, as they do in much larger numbers in respect of Colchester Zoo and other attractions in north Essex.”
He added: “The Stour Valley Visitor Centre will be of economic benefit for Colchester and district, at zero cost to the public purse.”
The scheme has also been backed by Great Horkesley Parish Council, which said it believed many of the comments arising from the 2009 application had been ad-dressed.
It added: “The new design was considered to be unobtrusive and the control of light emissions seems to have been thought about.
“Members were impressed with the new approach and felt their previous concerns had been satisfied.”
However, opponents to the centre, which is expected to attract 316,250 tourists a year, claim it will be in breach of national planning guidelines.