Bletchley Park has been given permission to start work on phase two of its vision to turn the codebreakers’ site into a world class museum.
Milton Keynes Council’s planning department has given the thumbs-up to plans to change protected office blocks at the listed site, off Sherwood Drive, into a museum.
Spurs 1 and 2 of Block A, Block E, the Teleprinter Building Annex and Diesel House will be turned into a learning and collections centre, with space for exhibitions. There will also be offices for staff and volunteers and change to “improve visitor access and circulation”.
Bletchley Park’s architects Kennedy O’Callaghan, said in its submission to the council: “The overall aim of the project is to provide a full range of facilities to make Bletchley Park a world class museum and heritage site.
“Phase 1 provided the foundations for this vision; Phase 2 aims to build on the success of Phase 1.”
It is hoped that the changes would cater for increased visitor numbers, and become a centre of learning for 25,000 schoolchildren each year. It would also “tell the currently untold stories of World War Two codebreaking and its impact on the outcome of the war to a wide and diverse range of visitors.”
The council’s planning department says the buildings are of “international significance and contribute greatly to the overall significance of Bletchley Park evidencing wartime architecture, and are evidentially significant of the scale of this unique site.”
And they add that the “majority of the changes proposed do not involve the removal of any history fabric and seek to retain the original material within. The proposed changes also have a strong public benefit in providing an educational function which potentially outweighs any less than substantial harm caused by these proposals.”