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New car park plans for Minack Theatre

New car park plans for Minack Theatre

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 1:29pm 3rd January 2020.

Written by Richard Whitehouse, Local Democracy Reporter

Cornwall’s iconic Minack Theatre has submitted plans to create a permanent car park extension after finding that some of its spaces were being used by beach visitors.

The theatre, which sits on the clifftop at Porthcurno, has applied for permanent permission to use land to the north of the site as an overspill car park.

It has previously used the site for parking but only under a temporary two-year approval which recently expired.

The application site is part of a sports field which is part of the former Cable and Wireless Training College.

Minack Theatre has acquired the sports field and plans to use just under half of the site for parking. The application is for seasonal use.


A planning statement explains the need for extra parking space stating: “The theatre applies and gained the initial planning consent to address issues that had arisen over recent years whereby visitors arriving to the site, arriving by car, were not all attending the theatre.

"These other visitors arrived for other purposes – to walk along the cliff path, to simply view the theatre or to spend the day on Porthcurno Beach.”

The statement says that there is sufficient capacity in the existing car parks for people attending performances and “for the most part” other visitors to the area.

But with an increasing number of visitors to the area the car parks have been filled beyond capacity “despite efforts by the theatre to arrange vehicles in the most effective, safe and workable manner”.

Minack Theatre ldrs

It adds: “It has been found that those people that are going to Porthcurno Beach but parking in the theatre car park do so as the car park in the valley is full and they drive here in the hope of finding additional parking.

“Given the obvious attraction of the beach and that the theatre does not charge for vehicles to park in its car parks many choose to stay and park here and walk to the beach.

“This often happens in the mornings when there is space within the car parks; but by the time of a matinee or evening performance (the latter more so on sunnier days) those that are attending performances can find that there is no space for parking.”

Under the previous temporary consent the theatre could use the overspill car park for 28 days a year, but the theatre says that in the last two years it has been used on average for 60 days a year.

In its conclusion the statement says: “This is an issue that the theatre has thought about at length. It is aware of the sensitivity of the site and the possible effects on the amenities of their neighbour and as has been demonstrated over the past two years of operation, feel that their proposal has and will not lead to harm to either.”

No date has been set for when a decision will be made on the application.

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