Castlegate car park plan gets the green light
Use of the Castlegate overspill car park in Berwick has been extended, while plans for a permanent solution are drawn up.
Northumberland County Council has been granted permission to use the grassed area at the rear of the car park for another three years.
This approval, signed off by the North Northumberland Local Area Council at its meeting on Thursday, was time-limited at the request of Historic England, which is responsible for the conservation of the nearby Elizabethan town walls and wants to see longer-term options looked at.
The pressures on parking in Berwick are well documented and the recent introduction of short-stay limits at The Parade, thereby increasing use of the all-day Castlegate car park, has underlined the need for this overspill section, which provides around 150 additional spaces.
The new planning permission also includes the laying of telegraph poles or similar to provide a 10-metre buffer zone from the historic walls.
As before, the overflow car park would be closed during the winter when the ground becomes waterlogged.
At the July meeting of the county council’s cabinet, £25,000 was approved for design work followed by a planning application for a permanent extension at Castlegate.
“This money starts the ball rolling,” said the cabinet member responsible for roads, Coun Glen Sanderson, who added that the local authority will ‘engage fully’ with Historic England and Berwick Town Council.
It is one of a number of measures included in an action plan aimed at tackling the parking problems in Berwick, with similar documents drawn up for Alnwick, Hexham and Morpeth as well.
Other measures included the conversion of The Parade to short-stay and changing the Chapel Street coach park into a short-stay car park while providing further parking on Hatters Lane and coach parking on Walkergate.
These action plans were based on the recommendations and conclusions of studies commissioned by the county council and the funding will come from an overall pot of £10million set aside to deal with parking issues across the county.