You might remember a little while ago we brought you news on the proposed fate of the Allendale Science Fiction Museum. It concerned the fuss Northumberland Council made over a Dalek, made by museum owner, Neil Cole’s students and the shed that it was stored in which apparently didn’t adhere to planning permission.
We now bring you good news on that front: the Dalek has been saved from extermination for a year, while Cole, the local Parish Council, and an army of fans and visitors try to come up with a more permanent solution.
The news of the problem took the internet by storm and even appeared on local news stations, including the BBC and their radio services, where Neil appeared as a guest. The museum also appeared on the Netflix series, Amazing Interiors.
Residents were shocked at the news and rallied behind Neil and his wife, Lisa, building their own Daleks across the town. People converted bins or cooked their own Daleks, made them out of clay, and printed a big message on bales of hay for visitors to see on their way in and out of the village. SOS: SAVE OUR SHED DALEK.
To say that Neil and Lisa were overwhelmed by the support would be an understatement but the problem always lay with the planning permission team. They seemingly went about raising the issue in a shocking way, sending nasty letters and emails and, at one point, sending highway enforcement agents who spoke to Lisa in an aggressive manner. They have since issued an apology but the stress this caused was horrible.
However, the Parish council decided to grant Neil and Lisa another year, reduced down from the proposed 2, so that they come to an agreement. Neil said:
“It was a compromise, I’ve been given another year to find a solution but hopefully the Planning Team will work with us this time.”
The Allendale Museum of Sci-Fi has attracted a further 2000 visitors to the area which has increased profits in the town. Residents were quick to note how much the Museum had helped them, with visitors also visiting the local shops, pubs, and other attractions. It was this that the Parish Council brought up at their meeting.
An online petition to keep the museum open recently got 1728 signatures. The Museum attracted around 250 people from all over the world on its first day, when Sergeant Benton himself, John Levene, was on hand to officially open it.
But with this respite only lasting a year, this is a saga that is far from over. Hopefully, Neil and Lisa can get this all sorted out but speaking personally, Northumberland Council need to sort themselves out – kicking up such a fuss about a shed is absolutely ridiculous.
I’m sure I’m not alone in giving Neil my full support for his wonderful project and wish him all the luck in the world. I’d never heard of Allendale before, but now his museum is one of the places I really want to visit! We will of course keep you updated with all the news concerning Allendale and it’s Dalek as it comes…
(Thanks to Bar, who also provides our featured image.)