AN extra 232 car parking spaces are to be created at Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
The 500-acre site in Bretton had more than 350,000 visitors last year, but staff had to turn vehicles away at weekends due to a lack of parking spaces.
But now the park has been given planning permission to create temporary spaces in a field close to the visitor centre.
It will only be used during peak times, when the other 800 spaces are full.
YSP’s Richard Dean said: “With the continuing popularity of the park we are very pleased that planning has been approved for an overflow car park which will allow us to accommodate the increasing visitor numbers we are experiencing.
“Giving the response we have already had since the opening of our exhibition last week of the first major show of sculptures by Joan Miró, we will be looking to undertake the works to bring this into operation as soon as possible.”
The park’s impact on the local economy is estimated to be worth around £5m a year.
It is run by a charitable organisation which relies on funding from the local authority and public donations and sponsorship.
Entry to the park, indoor gallery and visitor centre is free, but there is a charge for parking.
The centre has just put up its charges to £6.50 per vehicle for up to three hours’ parking.
The increase has come under criticism from regular visitors, but park bosses say it is still god value.
Thousands more tourists are expected to the site this summer to get a glimpse of unusual Spanish sculptures made from everyday items.
The Miró exhibition is the first major UK collection of his works and has received top praise from critics all over the world.
See letters and opinions page on p24.