Plans for 600-space car park at Elvaston Castle scrapped as makeover pushes ahead

Plans for a 600-space overspill car park at Elvaston Castle as part of £35 million regeneration plans have been scrapped. Derbyshire County Council has made changes to its own application and provided more information, at the strong request of its own planning officials, after objections and concerns from core experts and campaigners.

It filed its plans for the first phase of the regeneration a year ago but the scheme is still being discussed. In new documents filed with the application, after a formal demand for more information from its own officials, the council says while the planned new 623-space car park remains, the planned 600-space overspill will be scrapped.

These documents also detail that there are “no firm proposals” for either holiday lodges in the historic grounds or for the relocation of the current showground – an issue which had been heavily opposed and has been previously deferred. The plan for holiday lodges and holiday lets, including in the castle itself, is something that consultants continue to support, despite travel abroad edging back towards pre-pandemic levels and the cost of living crisis hitting budgets.

Read more: Benefits of transforming Elvaston Castle estate ‘outweigh harm’

Meanwhile, a planned adventure play area, close to the planned 150-cover cafe, has been bumped out of this application and will form a separate application at a later date. Consultants detail that they had advised of a £1 million investment in the adventure play area, but this has been sent back to the drawing board for further market analysis and talks with potential investors, including the forecasted level of money consumers will pay for leisure activities.

The county council and the charity Elvaston Castle and Gardens Trust have reaffirmed their commitment to restore and reopen the centrepiece of the estate – the castle itself – though they say other changes to the wider master plan will be made in light of the pandemic and economic situation. New information provided on behalf of the two organisations details that the proposed overall improvements to the estate would see annual visitor numbers surge from 325,000 …


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