Berwick coach park held up over legal wrangle

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Dispute between residents and council causes delays

It is highly unlikely that Berwick will see its dedicated coach park completed and opened in time for the coming tourism season, the Berwick Advertiser has said.

Although Northumberland County Council has secured planning permission for a four bay coach park on the site of the existing Chapel Street car park, the plans are being held up by a legal dispute between the council and local residents.

Councillor Gavin Jones said: “The plans for four coach spaces on the Chapel Street car park went through the planning and environment committee last May. They would have hopefully been in place now so we should have had a coach park but unfortunately it’s been held up.”

A council spokesman confirmed: “The coach park scheme on Chapel Street has been redesigned to take into account the party wall issues. The redesign will not impact on the feasibility of the project.”

Campaigners pointed out that a coach park with tea room, toilets and shops, all within the same location and undercover, might better suit the needs of coach parties. They said the revised plans would only leave space for three coaches and that alternative locations should be looked at, most notably Castlegate car park, which has a toilet, cafe and shop.

Meanwhile, the council has revealed the Church Street drop-off point will be finished by the end of March. To date the budget for the project is £131,178.

The drop-off point, which has been under construction for several months, comprises new Caithness Stone flag paving with Doddington Stone planter and integrated wood seating, to be followed by finishing details. The council’s intention is for coaches to drop off and pick up their passengers on Church Street and then drive around to a new coach park on Chapel Street.