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Sherwood plan goes to authority

6 June 07 12:24 GMT

A final piece of the jigsaw for a £50m bid to regenerate Sherwood Forest is expected to be put in place.

Nottinghamshire County Council's cabinet has been recommended to back plans for a new visitor centre with tree-top walkways.

Full planning permission is a crucial part of entry to a TV show where public votes decide which local authority scheme gets the lottery funding.

But nearby villagers said it would lead to more congestion and litter.

The project, called Sherwood: the Living Legend, will see a present visitors centre demolished to make way for a metal structure clad with oak to look like a tree and blend with the forest.

Demolition planned

Austin Brady, Forestry Commission regional director for East Midlands and chair of the Sherwood: the Living Legend Partnership earlier said: "This lottery bid is the best chance we will ever have to secure investment of this scale into the Sherwood area.

"It would be a major boost for the local economy, encouraging tourists to stay longer and spend more, as well as creating more business opportunities and jobs for local people."

But villagers in Edwinstowe, who have raised a 1,200 signature petition against the plan, said they got no benefit from tourism.

The attraction is one of six to be short-listed by the Big Lottery Fund for its Living Landmark Award which will be decided in December.

Officials have said the current visitor centre, which opened in 1976, will have to close by 2010, regardless of the outcome of the bid.

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