Castlegate car park plan set for approval

A temporary new planning permission for continued use of the Castlegate overflow car park in Berwick is set to get the green light.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 23 August, 2018, 06:56
Castlegate overflow car park in Berwick.

Northumberland County Council is seeking permission to use the grassed area at the rear of the car park for another three years.

The application is being recommended for approval at today’s meeting of the authority’s North Northumberland Local Area Council.

The importance of the overflow section has been given extra significance by the recent decision to introduce short-stay parking at The Parade which has had the knock-on effect of increasing use of the all-day Castlegate car park.

Historic England, which is responsible for the conservation of the nearby Elizabethan walls, had requested that permission be time-limited so that longer-term parking options are looked at.

It acknowledges that parking issues in Berwick are complicated but still has significant concerns about the impact on the walls.

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The only physical change proposed to the overflow is the laying of timber poles on the ground to prevent vehicles parking near the town wall and to help delineate the parking bays.

As is already the case, it is proposed to close the overflow section, which provides around 150 spaces, in the winter months.

There has been one objection from a local resident raising concerns about the visual impact of cars parking near the walls and potential archaeological damage.

A report to councillors, referring to the previous permission in 2015, states: ‘The overflow was considered to provide substantial public benefit in the form of additional parking within walking distance to the town centre and its facilities and services. I see no reason to change this view, especially considering the measures to provide a buffer between the walls and parked cars of 10m is to be introduced, which should lessen the impact upon the setting of the heritage assets to a degree.

‘Historic England have recommended the application should only be approved on a temporary basis, which is in line with previous applications submitted and this has been implemented via a condition securing this time period.’