Tyntesfield gets green light to build £350k visitor's welcome centre
PUBLISHED: 15:57 08 April 2019 | UPDATED: 18:14 08 April 2019
Plans to transform a popular National Trust site's entrance will go ahead, despite parish council opposition.
North Somerset Council gave permission for Tyntesfield House in Wraxall to build a new visitors welcome centre at Home Farm, which is expected to cost £350,000.
Bosses hope to start the work before the end of the year to cope with increasing visitor numbers.
The welcome hub would include a ticket scanning point, reception, office, toilets and members seating area.
A trust spokesman said: “We are pleased we’ll be able to offer a clearer, more accessible and welcoming experience on arrival at Tyntesfield.
The planning inspector ruled the hub shall not be occupied until the buildings of Paradise Barn and the Piggery Lean-to Barn, also located in Home Farm, have been dismantled.
The barns, which were built in the 1940s, were deemed ‘not stable or safe’ by the trust last June.
Guests enter the site through the straw bale building in Home Farm, a long walk from the car park and difficult to find.
Almost 70 per cent of all complaints the grade-II listed site received in 2018 related to the inability to find the ticket office.
Wraxall and Failand Parish Council had concerns as the hub would be within the greenbelt, but planning officers said the ‘very special circumstances’ of the need for a visitor reception centre ‘outweigh the harm to the openness of the greenbelt’.
Officers also encouraged the trust to have discussions with the highways service to achieve better transport arrangements.
A parish council spokesman said: “We would like to see the trust encouraging use of the shop and café, regardless of membership status.
“We have offered to work with the trust on a number of occasions to make the estate more inclusive for local people and improve traffic safety in the area. To date the trust has not responded.
“We achieved a reduction of the speed limit on the main road last year and would encourage the trust to work with us on further improvements to road safety.
“Bristol Road is not capable of safely supporting the volume of traffic generated by the increase in visitor numbers.”