Chapel Street conversion set to receive the green light
Plans to remove Berwick's coach park less than a year after it opened are being recommended for the green light.
An application to convert the four-bay facility on Chapel Street into a 15-space car park is being recommended for approval by Northumberland County Council today.
In a report to the North Northumberland Local Area Council, planning officer David Laux writes: ‘Since the opening of the coach park, the county council has received concerns from local residents relating to the impact on the local area and quality of life. The local MP has also expressed concern.
‘The proposed car park would provide 15 short-term parking spaces, inclusive of two electric vehicle recharging bays, on a site that is within short walking distance of a range of town centre facilities including the library, shops and other commercial uses. The location is therefore considered to be sustainable and appropriate.’
Local county councillors and Berwick Town Council are supportive of the move, although the latter expressed concern about potential anti-social behaviour. There have also been eight letters of support.
However, there have also been five objections highlighting environmental concerns and the potential impact on residential amenity, while Berwick Chamber of Trade believes it is detrimental to coach tourism.
The Confederation of Passenger Transport consider that the facility hasn’t been open long enough to have become fully utilised and that proposed alternative at the Swan Centre would make short stay visits to Berwick less viable.
A number of representations were received which passed comment on the poor uptake in use of the current coach park, as well as passing judgement on whether proposed alternative options at Walkergate and Tweedmouth would be satisfactory.
Mr Laux states ‘Whilst recognising these as wider issues, it should be noted that they do not form part of the appraisal of this application, which can only address the principle and any technical issues arising from the proposal.’