Tyne & Wear

Allendale Sci-fi museum's Dalek shed escapes extermination

Museum co-owner Lisa Cole stands next to the Dalek and shed Image copyright PA
Image caption Lisa Cole said the Dalek had been warmly welcomed by villagers

A "Dalek enclosure" outside a science fiction museum has escaped extermination by council planners.

Neil and Lisa Cole, who run the Museum of Classic Sci-fi in Allendale, were told to remove a shed housing a homemade replica of the Doctor Who arch-villain.

Northumberland County Council planners said the shed did not fit the character of the couple's Grade II-listed home.

But councillors defied them to give the structure a 12-month reprieve.

Art teacher Mr Cole teamed up with members of an after-school club to build the Dalek.

The museum features props, costumes and artwork, from a host of science fiction films and TV series, including some from the Marvel movie universe.

Mr and Mrs Cole said the Dalek could not be stored in their cellar alongside the other exhibits because of its size.

They were told they should have applied for planning permission and if a retrospective application was lodged it would likely fail.

However, Northumberland Council's Tynedale local area planning committee has voted to allow the shed on a "temporary basis" for a year.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The museum boasts a Cyberman costume among its other Doctor Who props

Mr Cole said he was pleased at the decision, but would still appeal to the National Planning Inspectorate.

A year was not enough time to replace the wooden shed with a permanent stone structure, he said.

"We are in a remote local area that has just two of its local business and we have brought in 2,000 people since October," he said.

"These are people who would never have come to the area if it were not for the museum."

Image copyright PA
Image caption The couple say more than 2,00 people have visited the museum since October

Mrs Cole said the future of the museum would be in doubt if they had to remove the Dalek permanently.

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