Bungay Castle plans submitted

PLANS have been submitted for a timber walkway which will provide tourists visiting Bungay Castle with magnificent views across the Waveney marshes.

Bungay Castle Trust, which owns and manages the historical building, wants to create a link path and access between the bailey and the outer paths.

Planning permission is being sought from Waveney District Council for provision of the walkway for the Bungay Castle link scheme.

A statement to planners says: “The original proposal for the public access route from the castle bailey to Castle Lane was a tiered footpath. However, English Heritage has dictated that there must be as little disturbance as possible to sub-soil archaeological deposits, so architect Howard Birch has devised a plan for a timber walkway.

“This will cause the least possible interference to any archaeological features, as the timber frame will sit above the soil, with ground fixtures placed at appropriate distances.”

The castle is protected as a scheduled monument and the report says that English Heritage has granted scheduled monuments consent.

When the plan for an access route down the steeply sloping site was first discussed it was thought disabled access would not be viable, but the statement says viewing points with disabled access will be provided at the top of the site from the bailey and from Castle Lane below.

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The document adds: “The overall plan is to keep the design of the site as simple as possible. Timber for the walkway is considered the most aesthetically pleasing and environmentally sympathetic material.

“The remainder of the site will be left in a natural condition, with its trees, shrubs and wild flowers, apart from some saplings which have been identified as superfluous and impeding the magnificent views across the Waveney marshes.”

The statement says there are neighbouring houses on each side, but the owners are in favour of the proposals and have been consulted.

Another resident has expressed concern about being overlooked, but this is being addressed by leaving camouflage trees at strategic points.

Fears have been expressed concerning possible noise and damage involving teenagers and it is proposed that the gates at the top and bottom of Castle Link will be locked at dusk.

Bungay Castle, which is in ruinous condition, was built around 1165 but partly demolished a decade later. It was renovated with new perimeter walls and a gatehouse and drawbridge in the later 13th century and fell into gradual decay until 1933 when renovation work was undertaken.