IMPROVED facilities at a Victorian castle’s grounds could reopen an area of natural beauty to the public.
Denbighshire County Council has applied to its own planning department, seeking permission to make improvements to the grounds of the Grade-II listed Bodelwyddan Castle.
The grounds and car park have fallen into neglect but could now be renovated so the space can be re-opened and enjoyed by the public.
The castle’s parkland once hosted a guided trenches experience, envisioned as an ‘authentic recreation’ of the trenches used by soldiers in the First World War, but the attraction is currently closed and in need of repair.
The council now wants to upgrade the public space by providing an additional 73 car parking spaces, laying new surfaced access paths and building toilet/WC facilities.
Some of the paths are currently closed to the public, as is the existing public car park.
The park area is 19.1 hectares and lies to the south of Bodelwyddan village, including 7.3 hectares of woodland and orchards. Other parts of the land are used as farmland.
The castle itself, though, is privately owned and run as a hotel by Warner Leisure Hotels.
A council planning statement submitted in support of the application explained.
“The park has been neglected for a number of years,” it reads.
“Proposals seek to provide access and the facilities so people can visit and enjoy the area, appreciate far-reaching views, gain an understanding of local history, walk, play, and enjoy the various habitats in the beautiful and natural setting the park offers.”
The statement also hails the superb views at the park, adding: “The area of the park to the immediate north and east of the hotel has an open character providing a beautiful setting with views to the grand architecture on the north and east facade of the hotel.
“Views out of the park are far reaching especially on the higher ground to the south; however, even in the central areas of the park and around the castle, views are extensive to the North Wales Coast and Clwydian Range.”
The planning application will now be debated by Denbighshire’s planning committee at a future meeting.