Planning permission has been granted for a new storage and research building for London's Natural History Museum (NHM) at Thames Valley Science Park, Reading. Randall Thorp were responsible for preparing the Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (LVIA) which accompanied the planning application.


Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) approved planning permission for the museum's new collections, research and digitisation centre, which will ultimately become home to 28 million specimens. The project has received £201m of funding from the government as part of a priority to increase investment in science.


The application site and its context are designated as ‘countryside’ in the current Wokingham Local Plan. Planning policy generally restricts development outside of development limits in order to protect the separate identity of settlements and to maintain the quality of the environment. The site also directly adjoins a Local Wildlife Site, and as part of the emerging Local Plan, the Loddon River Valley landscape which is located adjacent to the site is proposed to be designated as a Valued Landscape.


Throughout the planning application process we worked closely with the Landscape Officer at WBC to ensure that potential effects on landscape character, landscape features and views were appropriately considered and assessed within the LVIA. A suite of verified photomontages were also prepared and submitted with the planning application to assist with the assessment of potential effects.


The NHM have released THIS video footage, showing an artists impression of the stunning new facility.

Web image attached. Credit: Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios architects, courtesy of NHM

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