DEVELOPERS have unveiled plans for the future of a landmark historic building and its grounds.

Campaigners calling to save RAF Bentley Priory have claimed a victory, as land owners VSM Estates pledged to preserve a museum in the Grade II listed building.

Following months of public consultation the developers submitted plans to Harrow Council on Monday, showing 103 new homes, restored Italian gardens and a museum dedicated to those who fought in the Battle of Britain.

The mansion played a crucial role in the air battle, providing a headquarters from where Air Marshal Hugh Dowding directed operations.

When plans for the RAF to sell off the historic site were announced, the Bentley Priory Battle of Britain Trust was established to ensure it was preserved as a permanent war memorial.

Retired squadron leader Erica Ferguson, of the trust, said: "The house has changed so many times in its roles and this is another change which is happening at the moment. It's part of the evolving story of the building.

"The museum will allow the historic rooms within the Mansion House to be open to the public for the first time in 80 years, and this will help educate future generations about the significance of the Battle of Britain and the people involved.

"The things that we have been saying should be done are being done, so it's a victory really. Now we have got to make sure that the end developer sticks to all the plans."

The council must now assess VSM Estates' application before making a decision on it. The plans were drawn up to fit with the council's Special Planning Document (SPD) for the site, which demanded developers produce a sustainable and viable long-term scheme.

Planning manager at VSM Estates Colin Darby said: "Feedback resulting from Harrow Council's public consultation on its Special Planning Document (SPD) as well as our own consultation on the proposals has been constructive and positive, with the heritage and educational facilities proposed for the main Mansion House being a particularly welcome aspect of the plans.

"We look forward to continuing to work closely will all those with an interest in the future of the Priory to deliver a proposal that does credit to this unique site."