Nottinghamshire County Council has granted planning permission to a 60ft-timber visitor centre that forms the centrepiece of a planned redevelopment of Sherwood Forest.

The Tree, which has been designed by London-based Make Architects, is part of the Sherwood: The Living Legend project and will house exhibition space, a shop, restaurant, cafe, tourist information centre and a tree-top walkway.

It will be constructed from wood, will feature a biomass boiler and other renewable energy resources and has been proposed as a part of an application to the Big Lottery Fund for £50m to redevelop and reinvigorate the historic woodland.

The project includes plans to construct the new visitor centre, convert 300ha of farmland back into woodland, and build a 250km-long network of walking, cycling and riding paths.

“The Tree celebrates the spirit of the forest and will provide the public with a fantastic gateway to the UK’s most famous forest, while spearheading the wider regeneration of the Sherwood area,” said architect Ken Shuttleworth.

The Sherwood: The Living Legend project is one of a number of schemes aiming to receive a share of £140m of lottery funding available from the Big Lottery Fund, which is to shortlist the top applications in October and stage a televised public vote in December as part of its Living Landmarks initiative.