'No quick fix' for parking woes in Northumberland village - with archaeology issues adding to hold-ups

Bamburgh residents have been warned that there is ‘no quick fix’ to the village’s parking woes.

Monday, 20th January 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 21st January 2020, 1:02 am
An aerial view of Bamburgh's main car park.

The shortage of parking during the peak summer season was the topic of much discussion at a meeting of Bamburgh Parish Council.

The potential use of Glebe Field, owned by Bamburgh Castle Estates and used as a temporary 28-day car park at the height of the summer season, has been seen as a possible solution.

However, Bamburgh ward county councillor Guy Renner-Thompson revealed there are significant barriers to overcome.

“The county council is continuing to have meetings with Bamburgh Castle Estates to try and iron this out,” he said.

“The county council want to put car parking at Glebe Field – I certainly do – and the Estates want to.

“The problem is there is nationally important archaeology underneath.

“We are trying to find a way around that but it might be insurmountable, in which case we will have to start looking at other locations but then how far outside the village do you go before it becomes unviable?”

The main car park is often full to capacity in the peak summer months and on bank holiday weekends, leading to congestion in the centre of the village, particularly on Front Street, Lucker Road and The Wynding, the narrow road leading to the golf course.

Parish council vice chairman, Coun Andy Bardgett, said: “I don’t think anybody would disagree that we need more car parking but there seems to be a lack of will on behalf of the county council.”

However, this was disputed by Coun Renner-Thompson who pointed out that potential locations such as greenfield sites on Lucker Road were beyond the settlement boundary identified in the Local Plan.

“It’s not just a simple solution of putting a car park here or there,” he explained. “You’ve got the conservation area, the visual splay coming into the village from three sides which is highly protected in local and national plans.

“Really the Glebe Field is the only place you could put it but then you’ve got this potential monastery underneath and the national archaeology people are saying that if you park cars on there you could potentially damage it.

“You’ve then got to start looking at surfaces to protect it, the costs rise and it becomes a value for money issue for the landowner so it’s not going to be a quick fix.”

Coun Bardgett pointed out that any archaeology on the site had been farmed over for hundreds of years.

“That’s my argument too,” said Coun Renner-Thompson.

An extension of the main car park and a park and ride system on Links Road were also suggested by local residents, along with formalising car parking beyond Mill Burn on The Wynding.