RSPB Bempton Cliffs expansion plan gets go-ahead

RSPB Bempton Cliffs visitor centre will be expanded.
RSPB Bempton Cliffs visitor centre will be expanded.

The RSPB visitors centre at Bempton Cliffs is a step closer to being extended after full planning permission was granted.

Site manager Keith Clarkson said: “It’s marvellous news, and we’re delighted to have had so much support from local people.

“We’ve also had the full support of Bempton and Buckton parish council. That was greatly appreciated, and we’ll be working with them to make sure that we impact on the village in a positive way.

“The next step is to find out if we get funding from the heritage lottery fund. A decision is due in June. We have applied for funding to provide a whole package - not just the extended visitor centre, but also money to help with seabird monitoring, and to provide more support and training for our volunteers.

“The total package will be worth £900,000 over three years and will cover the structure, education, monitoring, training - everything.

“We’ve been very busy over the weekend, and we have visitors from all over Britain and from other countries, and they’ve had a fantastic view of the seabirds. Many people stay in the area, so it helps boost the economy.”

In the notice of decision following approval by East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s planning department, Director of Planning and Economic Regeneration Alan Menzies said: “The RSPB Visitor Centre is a popular and important visitor destination within the East Riding.

“It is considered that the proposals, to expand the RSPB visitor centre, will enhance the reputation of the site as a visitor attraction, will increase the number of visitors, and as a result it will bring additional benefits to the local economy.

“The proposed scheme is considered to have wider environmental benefits through the provision of information and education facilities in relation to the protection of wildlife and in particular to bird species.

“The site is adjacent to a very sensitive ecological area and it is also home to a number of protected species. Provided that the development is undertaken in strict accordance with the details submitted, it is considered that the proposals will have an acceptable impact upon ecology, sensitive sites and protected species.

“It is considered that the high quality and inclusive design of the building will also have a wider beneficial impact by the provision of wider access, in particular the improved provision for mobility and visual impaired users and improved facilities for community and education groups. It will also improve public access to and enjoyment of this part of the Heritage Coast.”