Proposed Improvement Works at Haddon Hill Car Park

NB  -  This Consultation period has now ended - to see the revised proposals click here.

Consultation on proposals for our Haddon Hill Car Park.

Haddon Hill

Introduction and Background

This proposal forms part of a wider scheme for improvements across the Exmoor National Park Authority owned estate. We aim to ensure that all of our car parks and picnic areas provide well managed ‘gateways’ to Exmoor National Park  - ensuring that they are welcoming, easy to use, maximise the benefits for nature and climate, and provide high quality information to celebrate the locations which they serve. At the same time, through introducing appropriate charging, we aim to offset some or all of the substantial annual cost to maintain them so that we can continue to provide high quality facilities with a sustainable funding model that is less reliant on our core government funding. In real terms our current government funding is around half of what it was 10 years ago.

Situated on the southern side of Haddon Hill, our site provides public open space with parking and toilet facilities as well as access to Haddon Hill and the local public rights of way network. It is a popular site with local people and visitors from further afield.

The information on-site needs a review and most of the signage is in a poor state. The surface road and parking areas are in good repair but vehicle barriers and public access around the site could be improved. There is an opportunity to improve the nature value of the site and help to fight climate change through tree planting and changes to how we manage grass cutting.

Picnic benches used to be provided at the site but were removed over 10 years ago. A dog bin service is provided at this site, introduced around 5 years ago.

Here is a link to the relevant Committee Report which as more information on the scheme.

Proposed Scope of Works 

This scheme aims to:

  • Introduce formal car park charging​ to replace the recommended contribution system
  • Scrape and restore existing parking bays
  • Add aggregate to the main pedestrian desire-line path to make it easier to use
  • Remove and replace unsightly and worn out signage​
  • Update information panels
  • Repair existing bench seating
  • Plant more trees and change mowing regime to benefit wildlife​
  • Add accessible picnic benches​
  • Replace timber barriers with earth banks around the central area
  • Clean and retreat the external walls and timbers of the toilet block

We have recently introduced an annual parking permit scheme that at £60 per annum provides an affordable option for regular users that is transferable across all of our charged car parks. We hope that this along with a sensible charging rate will reduce any potential displacement of parking to less suitable places.

The proposed charging rate will be £3 for 3 hours and £5 for over 3 hours.

Proposed Timing of Works 

Spring/Summer 2023 – public consultation process.

Summer 2023– review scheme in light of public consultation responses

Late Summer 2023 - initial works to be completed including the provision of payment facilities and replacement entry signage.

Autumn/Winter 2023 – groundworks, tree planting and revision of onsite interpretation material.