Cottage's £1.5m transformation
The National Trust has bought an historic 19th century cottage, which it plans to turn into a visitor attraction.
A £1.5 million project to transform Stoneywell Cottage, in Ulverscroft, near Markfield, is set to go ahead after the charity announced the acquisition.
It is only the second property in Leicestershire to be owned by the National Trust and was built by architect Ernest Gimson in 1899.
The trust plans to open the grade II*-listed building as a visitor attraction, with tea rooms and a car park, and to carry out restoration work to the windows and joinery.
The cottage will also have some cosmetic repairs, decoration and rewiring before it opens to the public, possibly in 2014.
Rebecca Speight, Midlands director for the National Trust, said: "Our ownership will ensure the house, stables, gardens and woodland retain their conservation significance for future generations to enjoy.
"The property is a wonderful addition to the National Trust's portfolio and a significant acquisition for Leicestershire, making it only the second built property we care for in this county."
A planning application for the work is expected to be submitted next month, following a series of surveys.
The project has been backed by BBC Antiques Roadshow expert Lars Tharp, who lives in Stoneygate, Leicester.
He said: "I am delighted the National Trust has acquired Stoneywell.
"This rare survivor of a golden age vividly transports us to a period of pre-war, Edwardian innocence.
"Lovingly built for his brother's family, this Gimson gem is a magical home set in an enchanted part of Leicestershire."
A number of people living nearby opposed the sale of the cottage.
More than 170 signed an online petition, concerned about the level of extra traffic expected to be generated by the attraction.
The National Trust estimated the site would attract about 75 cars a day during peak times – which it said would be 20 to 30 days a year.
Steve Perry, chairman of Ulverscroft Residents' Committee, said: "What we're concerned about is the number of visitors and the number of cars that will bring to the roads.
"There are already a number of tractors and trailers and it can be quite hazardous at times."
The National Trust has said it would limit the number of cars by admitting visitors on a pre-booking only basis, which would keep the number of vehicles to about 70 a day in peak times.
The charity still needs to raise another £1 million to complete the project.
For more information about the National Trust's proposals, visit:
To visit the campaign website, go to: