Materials stretching the length of more than 211 diplodocuses will be housed in a new Natural History Museum building proposed for Shinfield, designers claim. But some neighbours fear for its impact on the wildlife of today.

Proposals for the new storage facility at Thames Valley Science Park have been submitted to Wokingham Borough Council for planning permission.

The Natural History Museum says it needs the new building to house around a third of collection, as well as “cutting edge laboratories” for its scientists.

Designs sent to the council say the move would “entail the largest ever move of natural history specimens globally – 28 million specimens in total – equivalent to one third of NHM’s collection.”

It adds: “In addition, 5,500 metres of library material will also be moved – equivalent to the length of over 211 Diplodocuses.”

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But some nearby residents have raised fears about the impact the large new building would have on the surrounding countryside, in objections submitted to the council.

The building will take up space “equivalent to three football pitches” and be some four storeys high. It will also be flanked by the wooded New Covert and the ancient woodland of St John’s Copse.

Stephen Kitt of Sea Buckthorn said: “There is already far too much building in the area. I am suffering with breathing issues due to all the added building pollution not to mention damage to the natural environment.

“The overdevelopment already being carried out is not sustainable and destroying the last remaining green natural area in Shinfield.”

And Jonathan Sellars of Fairmead Road said: “This is yet further inappropriate development in Shinfield. As with the studios, this huge building will give zero benefits back to anyone living locally.

“Shinfield and the surrounding suburbs is going the same way as many boroughs in west London, once village areas blighted and forgotten at the expense of the industrial scale development. This area used to be one of the most diverse for habitat and wildlife and is rapidly being paved over.”

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Designs submitted to the council acknowledge that the Loddon River Valley “has a strong rural character and a sense of remoteness in some areas.”

They say the landscape design is “sustainable” and include “buffer zones” to protect habitats such as the two neighbouring woods. Plans also describe “species-rich” grasslands and meadows to the north and south.

Some nearby residents have also written in to support the plans. Jane Mason of Rosecroft Way said she supported the plans, but that road signage should be improved in the area.

Peter Leisupe of Mildenhall Close said the facility should only be approved if it includes a public museum “so that we the locals can benefit.”

Consultation on the plans is open until December 30. It is unclear whether council planning officers accept dinosaurs as a unit of measurement.