New building plan at landmark lighthouse site
National Trust bosses are inviting people to view plans for a new building at a landmak coastal site.
The Trust aims to build a new Coastal Conservation Centre at Whitburn Coastal Park, which will be revealed at a consultation event at Souter Lighthouse on Tuesday, July 9, between 5pm and 8pm.
Local residents and visitors can view the plans and discuss them with members of the project team.
The proposed centre will replace the current bird ringing hut in the main car park at Souter with a small, low carbon footprint, energy efficient building that, the Trust say, will sensitively blend with the surroundings.
A planning application is due to be lodged later this year when there will be a formal opportunity to make views known to South Tyneside Council.
If plans are given the green light, building is expected to be completed in 2021.
Eric Wilton, general manager for the National Trust’s South of Tyne property group, said: “A fresh new visitor space at Souter is an exciting prospect. It will allow far more people to engage in nature and heritage activities than the lighthouse can accommodate.
“At the moment, the ranger team and Whitburn Coastal Conservation Group don’t have an indoor area to deliver events.”
He added: “We want people to enjoy using it, for it to feel like a natural link between the lighthouse and the coastal park.
“We hope that people will let us know their views on our draft proposals.”
The new centre is aimed at playing a key part in delivering the aims of the Seascape Partnership – which consists of over 20 organisations aiming to connect people with the coast between the Tyne and Tees through 30 projects focussing on heritage and wildlife.
The Whitburn Coastal Conservation Centre will show the transformation of the coastline from a heavily polluted industrial area to the healthy landscape it is today and increase opportunities for events and activities at Souter Lighthouse to raise awareness of marine conservation.
The event on July 9 will be held in Souter’s Lighthouse Café, with free parking in the main car park for attendees.
Anyone who can’t attend, can email [email protected] or visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/souter-lighthouse-and-the-leas for further information.