Marquis’ estate scraps controversial plans to build cafe overlooking seaside village

A marquis’ 15,000-acre estate has moved to underline its social conscience as it abandoned a controversial plan to build a cafe overlooking a seaside village and beside one of the region’s most popular walking trails.

The Mulgrave Estate, which came into the Phipps family in the early part of the 18th Century, from lands belonging to the Duke of Buckingham, said it was very aware of its responsibilities towards communities living in and around the North York Moors National Park as it revised its development plans at Bank Top, Runswick Bay.

Alongside numerous objections from residents, the national park authority’s conservation team had warned the proposed development would conflict with several policies designed to protect the park, such as keeping food outlets in built-up areas, and said it have an unacceptable impact on the unique landscape.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

While the conservation officers added they believe there is enough parking in the area, the estate is still hoping to build a car park by Bank Top, subject to resolving specific issues raised by North Yorkshire County Council’s highways team, Yorkshire Water and satisfying a local ecology and wildlife assessment.

Runswick BayRunswick Bay
Runswick Bay

The estate said the purpose of the 44-space car park is to improve off-street provision for tourist cars when the visitor car park at the bottom of the bank is full.

Estate director Robert Childerhouse, explained: “The current car park is frequently full in peak season and at weekends, leading cars to park either on the roadside at the bottom of the bank, which causes congestion and dangerous manoeuvring, or on the street along Hinderwell and Ellerby Lanes, which also causes congestion and inconvenience to local residents.

“We are confident that our new car park would have a beneficial effect both on the localeconomy and of the quality of life at Runswick Bay. By relieving congestion in this beautiful seaside village, it will become more attractive to tourists and provide a timely boost to cafes, restaurants and shops, who are only now emerging from the challenges posed by the global pandemic.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Although the estate says parking has been an issue in Runswick Bay for some time, it believes the issue has worsened in the last two years, particularly since the end of the first pandemic lockdown in July 2020.

The revised proposal comes just five months after the estate’s plan to build a housing and industrial development on the edge of Egton was rejected amid claims it would ride roughshod through policies designed to protect national park’s landscapes, communities, heritage and character.

Mr Childerhouse added: “As an estate, we are very conscious of our responsibilities towards our local communities. We place great emphasis on sustainability and environmental issues which are key to our farming and land management practices.”