July 31 2014 Latest news:
Friday, March 21, 2014
A masterplan to transform Walden Castle into a hive of tourist activity has been revealed.
Last year, the Reporter exclusively revealed that plans were afoot to spend in the region of £400,000 on restoring the scheduled monument.
Uttlesford District Council (UDC), which is leading the project, has also proposed to light up the 12th century Norman castle to make it more attractive and enhance its position in the town.
The inside of the castle is to be opened up for visitors, while interpretation boards and a welcome sign will also be introduced. There will be upgrades made to the entrance, with the installation of a new gate and the removal of trees, to make it more inviting.
UDC is legally obliged, by English Heritage, to carry out the extensive repairs.
It is likely to take two to three years for all the work to be completed.
Assistant director of planning at UDC, Andrew Taylor, presented the masterplan to members of Saffron Walden Town Council last week.
He dismissed the possibility of the grounds surrounding the castle being used for anything other than open space.
Cllr Cliff Treadwell had suggested it be turned into a car park to meet the town’s need for more parking spaces.
“It’s something we did actually look at when there was a need for a temporary car park [to cover the proposed loss of parking spaces while Waitrose underwent its refurbishment],” Mr Taylor said.
“However it was quickly dismissed by English Heritage. They said they would not allow it.”