Extension to visitor centre at country park recommended for approval

The opening of the upgraded play area at Druridge Bay Country Park in August.
The opening of the upgraded play area at Druridge Bay Country Park in August.

Plans to upgrade the café and visitor centre at Druridge Bay Country Park are recommended for approval.

The proposals, for an extension to the café area and internal alterations to the visitor centre to form three showers within the toilet area, go before the North Northumberland Local Area Council tomorrow.

The proposed extension, measuring 10 metres by four, would project westward from the existing café area and would be finished with a brown aluminium sheet roof, brown aluminium window frames and green exposed steelwork to match the existing.

There would also be a new patio area sited directly outside the west elevation of the proposed extension with paving flags to match the existing and the gravel paths leading to and from the patio would be adjusted accordingly.

The bike racks would be repositioned to the south of the building.

The scheme has not sparked any objections, but East Chevington Parish Council has called for more showers to be included, due to camping and water sports at the park.

Its response said: ‘A number of events held at the country park encourage overnight camping. We would like our recommendations to be considered that more showers are requested.’

Plans to improve Druridge Bay Country Park were first put forward in February this year, but there was some discontent over using car-parking charges to fund the upgrades.

As well as the proposals at the visitor centre, the play area reopened in August following a £130,000 refurb and now includes a roundabout, seesaw, swings, a shark springer, forest lake boat, agility equipment and a 4.5metre-high central climbing feature called The Ocean Dome.

It is part of an almost £1million scheme to improve Druridge Bay as well as Plessey Woods Country Park, near Bedlington, and Bolam Lake Country Park, near Morpeth.

Parking charges have now been reintroduced at all three sites, although the first hour is free. All-day parking costs £3, while up to two hours is £1.60. Seasonal permits valid in all three parks cost £35.

Ben O'Connell, Local Democracy Reporting Service