A £150m car museum is set to be built in West Oxfordshire after councillors gave the project the green light.

The Driving Centre, which would be based at Enstone Airfield, received outline planning permission at the district council's Development Control Committee this afternoon.

Members were split between the tourism boost the museum would bring and its potential impact on nearby roads, but after three-and-a-half hours voted in favour by 12 votes to seven.

The project is spearheaded by Peter W Mullin, an American classic car collector and philanthropist, who owns a 250-strong collection of classic and vintage vehicles.

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Mr Mullin, who runs a car museum in California, told the meeting that he wants the development to be his ‘legacy’.

He said: “The project has a huge opportunity, particularly in this gorgeous area of the Cotswolds, to create a number of positive things – both in education and visitor appreciation.

“The automobile and Great Britain are indivisible. Its impact on our modern way of life is immeasurable.

“Our goal is to create jobs, generate significant business rates and taxes and most of all to leave a legacy for the generations of the future.”

The museum, designed by renowned architect Norman Foster, could feature cars from as far back as the 1920s, while 28 luxury cottages will be inhabited by people contributing their vehicles to the attraction.

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About 30 cars from Mr Mullin’s collection would be displayed at any one time, plus the same number from other collectors.

The application had been recommended for refusal at a meeting in March but was deferred, with the applicant asked to provide more information.

Since then, the plans have been altered in 10 areas, with the number of events reduced to five per year, plus a new travel plan and community travel forum.

The travel plan would encourage visitors to reach the site by foot, bike and on a financially-incentivised shuttle bus, while some councillors suggested a park and ride near Chipping Norton.

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An estimated 200,000 people per year would visit the museum, which would be open six days per week.

The plans received more than 180 letters of objection from parish councils and residents, with several people sharing their concerns at the packed meeting.

Their views were echoed by councillors representing the surrounding areas, with David Jackson, councillor for the Bartons, drawing applause for his scathing attack on how the museum would impact residents.

Nigel Colston, district councillor for Kingham, Rollright and Enstone, agreed, adding: “I still believe that this correlation between the building of 28 luxury cottages and the museum is a dangerous one.

“The museum is a great idea but has 24 lodges on a brownfield site and four in a greenfield land.”

He continued: “This could be anywhere in the UK and doesn’t sit well with my social conscience.”

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Despite traffic fears, highways authority Oxfordshire County Council did not object to the plans, while county councillor for Chipping Norton, Hillary Hibbert Biles, spoke in favour of the museum.

She said: “I truly understand the concerns of residents regarding traffic and I do believe there can be conditions to mitigate this.

“This development will be a feather in the cap of this area. It is a wonderful opportunity and something we could be proud of.”

Meanwhile, John Mitchinson, speaking on behalf of the Great Tew parish meeting, said a ‘clear majority’ of residents polled at the meeting were in favour of the museum, adding it had ‘genuine cultural value’.

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Several members agreed, with Alex Postan, of Brize Norton and Shilton, claiming it would be ‘very unfair’ to deny Mr Mullin’s ‘philanthropic gesture’.

The development, next to Soho Farmhouse, would contribute £1.74m to community projects, including £1.25m towards affordable housing, which would be ring-fenced for Great Tew for 36 months.

Great Tew School would get £200,000 for a car park, with the same amount going to traffic calming measures in nearby villages and £50,000 to the Middle Barton Community Bus service.

Meanwhile, five per cent of profits from the museum would go towards community initiatives.

A proposal to refuse the application was lost by eight votes to 11.