Cosi fan transport

Construction of the first UK opera house in decades is nearing completion at West Horsley Place. The Grade I listed stately home near Leatherhead, Surrey will become the new home for Grange Park Opera. The four-tier, horseshoe-shaped 650 seat Theatre in the Woods forms the core element of the Mary Roxburghe Trust’s planned conversion of the estate to an arts and education venue.

Space for exhibitions and functions will be created in the renovated stately home. The opera house will host cultural and educational events by a range of organisations. Grange Park Opera stages one of Europe’s leading opera festivals every summer.

Sophie Hitchins, Associate Director at Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners comments, “Potential highway impacts were a sensitive issue with local residents and the planning authority. Motion came up with a solution that allayed their concerns.”

Sustainable access strategy
A Motion Associate Director adds, “The planning authority and local groups were concerned about the transport sustainability of the location, due to the perceived influx of traffic around performances and the number of vehicles queuing on the highway during events.”

Motion developed a sustainable access strategy and demonstrated that vehicle trips associated with a performance or event would not have an adverse effect on the local highway network. The proposals included the provision of a shuttle bus service between Horsley train station and the venue, to relieve potential congestion before and after events.

TV celebrity Bamber Gascoigne created the Mary Roxburghe Trust when he unexpectedly inherited West Horsley Place, from his aunt, the Duchess of Roxburghe. Grange Park Opera was established in 1998 and will move to West Horsley Place in summer 2017.

This article first appeared in the Winter 2016 issue of Insight.

Image copyright: Grange Park Opera

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