Newmillerdam Country Park to get new visitor centre and cafe

Newmillerdam:'Feeding the birds at Newmillerdam early Sunday Morning.
Newmillerdam:'Feeding the birds at Newmillerdam early Sunday Morning.

A disused lodge at Newmillerdam Country Park will be converted into a visitor centre and cafe by a college for young people with learning difficulties.

Wakefield Council approved plans to change the use of the East Gate Lodge on March 11.

The application was submitted in August 2013 by the Pennine Camphill Community, a specialist college which offers further education and support for young people who have learning difficulties.

It is expected that the visitor centre and cafe will be partially staffed by pupils and staff from the Chapelthorpe college.

The plans involve demolishing existing extensions on the building and rebuilding a new annexe to the rear and an extension to the side.

The annexe will be used for the cafe while the rear extension will become part of the main visitor centre and information point.

The plans were supported by Wakefield Civic Society.

The lodge was last used by Wakefield Council as a warden’s office but it has been empty for several years.

The country park was once part of an estate owned by the Pilkington family. The East Gate Lodge is one of two remaining out of nine which were built to house the gamekeepers who protected the estate from poachers.