Parish council against Tyntesfield's revamp plans

PUBLISHED: 06:55 21 January 2019 | UPDATED: 11:26 21 January 2019

An artist’s impression of the visitor welcome hub. Picture: Tyntesfield

An artist's impression of the visitor welcome hub. Picture: Tyntesfield

Archant

Plans to build a new visitor’s centre at a grade II-listed building have been slammed by a parish council.

Wraxall and Failand Parish Council objected to Tyntesfield House’s proposals to build a visitor welcome hub at a cost of £350,000.

The Times reported on January 9 the National Trust site applied to North Somerset Council to build new entrance facilities at the estate yard of Home Farm, which would include a ticket scanning point, reception, office, toilets and members seating area.

More: National Trust site set for £350k revamp.

But the parish council criticised the Wraxall-based estate for proposing ‘a new building within the green belt’ as ‘within the complex there is adequate space for something smaller’.

Speaking at a parish council meeting on January 10, Cllr Ian Malpas said: “The council acknowledges the need to improve the visitor reception experience, the current arrangements are extremely poorly designed.

“In particular the central narrow stairs which are used for visitors to gain access to the ticket office and exit the estate results in frequent queuing.

“We felt the construction of a new building in green belt and historic park and garden to house visitor reception to be highly undesirable and inappropriate, the trust has ample space within existing structures at Home Farm to accommodate an improved visitor experience.

“The trust policy and the purpose of the new building appears to be to enforce a paywall for access to the café shop and estate.

“This will be detrimental to the parish as not all villagers can afford a Trust membership.”

The entrance was built in 2009 when visitor numbers were around 160,000 per year, but that figure has ballooned to almost 400,000 per year, meaning the building is no longer suitable to meet demand.

The proposal complies with the relevant national and local policies and seeks to preserve the openness of the green belt and will also have ‘a minimal visual impact’ on the estate.

Cllr Malpas added: “We would like to see the trust being more inclusive of local people, encouraging use of the shop and café, regardless of membership status.

“This would have the benefit of increasing local revenue for the estate and make Tyntesfield a more inclusive place.”

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