New Building for Aviation Museum Adjacent to Gatwick Airport

Local Authority

Mole Valley


  • Leisure and Tourism
Decoration Decoration

Planning permission secured for new Gatwick Aviation Museum building in the Green Belt

Client Gatwick Aviation Museum
Author Rebekah Jubb

Project Overview

Bell Cornwell has obtained planning permission for a replacement building for use in association with the Gatwick Aviation Museum. The museum has a unique collection of innovative and advanced British aircraft from the ‘golden age’ of British aircraft manufacture, from the end of WWII until the 1970s.

We originally obtained planning permission for a new building for the main museum in 2014. That building was officially opened in Easter 2016. It houses a number of planes and displays of associated aviation equipment and memorabilia. The new adjacent building will accommodate additional display space along with a classroom and workshops for the volunteers and engineering students who regularly work at the site.

The main issue that we had to contend with was demonstrating that the new building will not be materially larger than the one it replaces to ensure that it could be considered to be appropriate development in the Green Belt. This had to be balanced with achieving a replacement footprint of development that would be acceptable given that the site is located within Flood Zone 3. Two smaller buildings elsewhere on the site will be demolished to compensate for the additional footprint that has been approved. A number of conditions were requested by Gatwick Airport, which site adjacent to the site, to ensure that the building would not compromise the operation of the airport.

The new building will enable the museum to continue its association with local educational establishments and will support the ongoing maintenance and renovation of the planes within the collection. It will also provide better visitor facilities to support the ongoing work of the museum to keep the collection open to the public.


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