New car park at Bamburgh Castle will create almost 100 spaces to help cope with increasing visitors
Plans to extend the car park at Bamburgh Castle are being finalised.
The scheme will create an extra 92 parking spaces and aims to relieve parking congestion.
An application has been submitted on behalf of Bamburgh Castle Estate requesting the discharge of conditions related to the planning permission it received last year.
These include details of how it will carry out the scheme and an archaeological assessment which concludes that the proposed works will have no impact.
The castle receives over 30,000 cars per year, while there have also been increased numbers of coach and group visits in recent years.
A report accompanying that application stated: ‘The increasing popularity of the castle, and the appealing picturesque location in which it sits, attracts a high
number of visitors every year which during peak times can be problematic.
‘Increased numbers of coach and group visits has created issues for turning and parking coaches. This has resulted in coaches having to carry out three point turning manoeuvres on the drawbridge and parking there which can be seen from a great distance, including from the beach.
‘The dedicated existing parking area to the south-east of the grounds is functional, however space is limited and the parking area does not have the capacity or layout to accommodate such levels of visitors which is resulting in some creative parking on the grounds as well as visitors regrettably being turned away due to no available parking spaces.
‘This congestion poses a health and safety risk where pedestrians are having to avoid vehicles manoeuvring around the grounds in search of a viable parking solution. Turning away tourists and visitors over a fundamental issue such as insufficient parking space is frustrating and also has a negative impact on the castle’s reputation and operations.’
The proposed works will focus on the south-east section of the grounds on a grassed area next to the existing hardstanding. The existing earth mound separating the existing car park from the grassed area would be flattened. A compacted hardcore base would be used to form the new parking area.
The track serving as the exit from the car park would also be widened.