Forum continues its work on key sites
11 Dec 2018
Ideas on how some of Alnwick’s key sites develop over the coming years continue to be considered by the town’s forum.
It comes after a community engagement event and e-survey on delivering the Neighbourhood Plan for Alnwick was organised by the Alnwick Forum, a partnership between Northumberland County Council and Alnwick Town Council.
There has been a great deal of feedback both from the event and the online questionnaire which the forum team are working through.
Among the projects up for discussion was the future of the former Duchess High School on Howling Lane, with feedback showing support for a combination of affordable housing and additional town centre long stay car parking.
Given the support for extra car parking, it was hoped that some of the site could be made available for car parking on an informal basis on the run-up to Christmas when the town centre becomes extremely busy.
Further site visits this week have now shown it would be impractical to set this up in the few days before Christmas due to ground conditions and lack of lighting - making it unsafe for the public.
However the county council will instead be focusing on works which could enable a larger area of the site to be safely brought into informal use for long-stay parking so that it's ready before Easter.
Forum member and Alnwick County Councillor Gordon Castle said: “The Alnwick Forum is all about delivering what Alnwick wants and needs and the message after public engagement is pretty clear on this site as on others.
“While we’re looking at a number of options, extra long term parking seems worth trialling here to see if it is used sufficiently to justify a permanent site. The need for more affordable housing is fully recognised and this site also seems ideal for that purpose - there is room on this large area for both, and it is land owned by the county council.”
Alan Symmonds, Mayor of Alnwick added: “I am pleased that the County Council have agreed to consider providing a temporary car park at this site which will provide much needed additional space over the summer months. It will be interesting to see how this trial arrangement works.”