Hollywood call in Macdonald’s plan for castle
THE owner of a Grade I Staffordshire Moorlands castle has unveiled plans to allow the premises to be used for day visitors and commercial filming.
Robin Macdonald has applied to planners at Staffordshire Moorlands District Council for permission for the scheme at Caverswall Castle in Blythe Bridge Road, Caverswall.
A planning and heritage statement by Astill Planning said: “The castle has been occupied by the applicant and his family as a single dwelling house.
“This is not sustainable however for such a large property. Vehicle access to the castle is available via two existing accesses, to the east and the west. To the east of the site are residential properties. On the other sides there are open fields.
“The castle has undergone a variety of uses over the last 80 years including a convent, a school, a nursing home, a hotel and holiday lettings plus events venue.
“The proposal is to permit day visitors at the castle; the owner and his family; the owners guests and day visitors, authorised by the owner, to carry out filming for their personal use within the environs of the castle and grounds, along with, permitting commercial companies the use of the castle and environs, for temporary filming for a period not exceeding nine months in any 27 months.
“Day visitors to the castle will be members of clubs, societies, schools and other groups registered with the owners (or any management company approved by the owner) visiting the castle during the day for the purpose of educational purposes and appreciating and experiencing the Grade I heritage building.
“Day visitors will have pre-booked with the owner. Visits will only take place between the hours of 8am and 6pm at the castle.
“Day visitors will be allowed to take photographs or film the castle and grounds for their own personal use.
“It is proposed that there should be no restrictions on day visitors, such as approved school parties or such organisations such as cubs, scouts, guides or historical societies, filming in the castle or interior.
“Now that the council has resolved, subject to a legal agreement, to grant planning consent for the use of the castle as a hotel allowing day visitors to come to lunch, drinks, meetings or short stays in relation to this use, the current restrictions on day visitors filming seems illogical.
“Day visitors will be restricted to 36 persons at one time.
“Access to the castle interior and grounds will be restricted and supervised to ensure that there is no damage to the historic fabric. The proposed use will have no impact on the setting of the heritage asset.”
It is expected that a decision on the application will be decided by planners within the next 8 to 12 weeks.