A £150,000 revamp of a former breakers’ yard in Whixall has been given the go-ahead.
Shropshire Wildlife Trust will create a brand new visitor hub at the Furbers site to include cafe facilities and a retail area, plus a 10-metre high viewing tower, boardwalk and playscape.
It will also have parking for 40 vehicles and create one full-time and one part-time job.
Planning officer at Shropshire Council, Sue Collins, said: “Through the clearance of the existing development it will enhance and protect the internationally important ecology sites and the rural landscape.
“The development will also provide much needed facilities for visitors to the national nature reserve, mosses and canal.”
Shropshire Wildlife Trust plans to revamp the site in two phases, initially looking at providing a shelter and seasonal cafe, toilets and a viewing tower or play area to increase the appeal of the site, before adapting the buildings to expand its needs with a shop and permanent cafe if visitor numbers increase.
Previously there had been concerns regarding potential contamination of the area following its use as a breakers yard with car part and tyres still on site, however, as the land is next to the Fenn’s Whixall and Bettisfield Nature Reserve it is an “extremely important location” for ecology and biodiversity.
The charity has also been working towards raising £500,000 to clear the site before work on the new hub can begin.
Whixall Parish Council had given its support, but did raise some concerns over increased traffic and the height of the viewing tower which it would like addressed when the proposal goes for full planning permission in due course.
The site was visited last year by former Green Party leader Natalie Bennett.
See full story in the Whitchurch Herald