Bid to host events at Sunderland's historic Hylton Castle receives boost

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Proposals to “secure” Sunderland’s Hylton Castle and make it ready for events have been given the green light by council planning chiefs.

Earlier in 2022, Sunderland City Council’s planning department received an application for the heritage treasure off Craigavon Road.

The 14th Century building and grounds recently benefited from a multi-million pound restoration project which was part of a partnership between the council and the Heritage Lottery Fund and supported by English Heritage.

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The renovation works aimed to return the Grade I-listed Hylton Castle and grounds back to the heart of community life as a cultural heritage, education and visitor centre.

Sunderland's Hylton Castle.Sunderland's Hylton Castle.
Sunderland's Hylton Castle.

With the aim of holding events at the site, a new planning application proposed a mix of permanent and temporary fencing to “secure the grounds” and prevent “unauthorised access and vandalism”.

The proposed temporary portable fencing also aimed to create “events enclosures” as well as a pop-up marquee for seasonal events.

A planning decision report said the proposals would have a “limited impact” on nearby heritage assets and would “bring significant benefits to this exceptionally important site”.

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This included “deterring unauthorised access and anti-social behaviour and supporting the role of the regenerated castle as a key heritage visitor attraction and community asset”.

The planning decision report reads: “The proposed permanent fencing on top of the wall to the north boundary of the site would be consistent with existing fencing at the site, and its positioning would minimise the impact on the views and setting of the Grade I-listed Hylton Castle and chapel.

“In the context of the existing wall, trees and shrubbery along this boundary, additional impacts would be minimal.

“The proposed temporary portable fencing and marquee would support the events programme that would help to sustain the future of the site as a community facility and visitor attraction.

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“Whilst there would be some impact on views towards the castle across its former landscaped gardens, the impacts on its setting would be minimal due to the type and colour of fencing and it being time-limited and reversible due to the temporary nature of these structures.”

Applicants previously stated that the temporary fencing and pop-up marquee would be used for no more than 25 weeks of the year and would typically be used during school holidays.