Vintage bus collector to expand storage site in Uphill
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A vintage bus collector can bring his most valuable vehicles together near Weston after securing permission to expand his barn.
Jonathan Jones-Pratt has been collecting the classic vehicles since he was 16 and keeps a dozen at Slimeridge Farm in Uphill, but others are in 'thoroughly unsuitable locations'.
He was granted retrospective permission last year to keep them in a barn and now has the go-ahead to more than double its size, despite concerns about flooding.
Crosville Vintage owner Mr Jones-Pratt told North Somerset Council’s planning committee on March 17: “This is my passion and whilst some people may think I am rather strange with my extensive collection there are many who have seen or been able to tour with us absolutely love and value the vintage collection.
“At the moment these buses are spread across five different thoroughly unsuitable locations as far away as Coventry. This application for an extension to the existing barn would allow the most valuable buses of the vintage fleet to be maintained and stored in a controlled environment in one place here in North Somerset.”
The plans had been recommended for refusal.
Planning officer Jessica Smith said: “The application site is within the countryside, which is considered an unsustainable location for a personal hobby use.
“Insufficient information has been provided to show there are no alternative sites available on the open market or existing barns within the wider Slimeridge Farm area at a lower risk of flooding.”
Mr Jones-Pratt said the extension would have little impact on the environment and claimed the benefits – which include tourism, employment of staff for maintenance that costs thousands of pounds a month, and training – had been overlooked by planning officers.
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Proposing approval, Cllr Mike Solomon said: “ It’s very much a passion for him. It’s not being run as a commercial site.
“He’s spent tens if not hundreds of thousands of pounds on the site to landscape it.
“The flooding only really has an effect on the applicant. The barn can hardly be seen from the road.
“It will be great for tourism. They are wonderful vehicles. There are a lot of positives.
“There’s no way Crosville can use it as a commercial site, it’s not practical.”
The application was approved subject to a cap on the number of trips the buses can make each year.