A popular outdoor museum has commented on negotiations with a developer after a 'concerning' delay.  

Chiltern Open Air Museum (COAM) attracts thousands of visitors each year at its site in Chalfont St Peter next to the historical Newlands Park manor.

Newlands Park is being transformed into private luxury homes priced up to £1.5 million by developer Comer Homes after the company secured planning permission from Buckinghamshire Council.

Comer Homes also own the freehold of the COAM site, but as part of its planning permission, the freehold will be transferred to the museum.

However, this is yet to take place, and a spat between COAM and the developer has further complicated the negotiations.

Concerned supporters of the museum set up an independent ‘Save Chiltern Open Air Museum’ campaign following a cancellation of the museum’s annual Halloween Spectacular and permission to film at the site last year – both of which contribute to the museum’s funding.

Supporters of the museum were left outraged after Comer Homes reportedly locked the gate to the overflow car park.

Comer Homes claimed there were “repeated breached of the current lease agreement,” including loud music until the early hours, which the museum denied.

What is happening with the negotiations between Comer Homes and COAM? 

Now the museum’s director Sam Hatfield has spoken up about the negotiations.

He said the parties were making “progress on the outstanding points.”

“We have waited quite some time for the transfer to happen and would like to complete it before Easter if possible. In the meantime, we are getting everything ready for our re-opening on March 18 and our exciting calendar of events this year.”

A Comer Homes spokesperson confirmed the developer remained committed to completing the transfer “at the soonest possible time.”

Its aim was to ensure that “all parties are satisfied with the agreement.”

They said: “We are confident a conclusion to the matter is forthcoming and can be finalised in the coming weeks.”

Buckinghamshire Council’s cabinet member for planning and regeneration Peter Strachan commented: "Comer Homes and the Chiltern Open Air Museum are still in the process of negotiating the terms of the freehold transfer.

"We are optimistic that the discussions will continue to be positive and result in an agreement between the parties, enabling the transfer to take place as soon as possible."