Plans drawn up for £350,000 revamp of Alnwick cobbles area
Plans are being drawn up for a £350,000 revamp of the cobbles area of Alnwick town centre.
The Market Street scheme is being developed by Northumberland County Council with input from Alnwick Town Council.
Two options, which have marginally different parking lay-outs and public realm areas, are now being worked up before formal consultation begins.
Cllr Gordon Castle, local ward member, said: “I am really pleased that we’ve got design plans into which the town council can have an input before a final decision is taken.
"The way the cobbles are laid out is completely unsuitable, as are the underfoot conditions.
"It has taken some time to reach this stage but plenty of work on it has been going on behind the scenes.
“It will hopefully happen very soon, although we must also take into account that there is quite a lot of highways work going on in Alnwick at the moment with the planned pedestrianisation of the Market Place and now the issues with the Bondgate Tower so our officers are stretched.”
He revealed that the replacement of the cobbles will cost around £350,000.
"That’s rather lower than we thought it might have been ,” said Cllr Castle. “That may not cover ancillary works to go with it but for the cobbles themselves that’s affordable.”
The county council has previously earmarked £200,000 to the project.
The drawings were presented to town councillors at full council with granite setts seen as the preferred materials.
Clerk Peter Hately said: “The cobbles issue has been rumbling on for some time now and about 12 months ago we pushed the county council to take a more strategic view of what they might look like.”
Members were told there would be no reduction in car parking spaces.
Cllr Peter Broom suggested the direction of parking could be changed to ‘sideways on’ rather than ‘nose down’ to increase capacity and reduce wasted space.
He explained: “Over the last couple of years, given the number of vehicles which have ended up on the road or in our street furniture it would make sense for them to look at that option. When you look at some old photographs of Alnwick the cars are facing the opposite way.”
Members agreed this was an idea worth discussing further with county council officers.