A PROPOSAL to improve the access, car park and signs at Usk Castle has been lodged with Monmouthshire Council.

The Humphrey family, who own the castle in Usk, want to make improvements to the site, which attracts 6,000 visitors each year.

The family, who live at Castle House in Monmouth Road, recently won planning permission to bring luxury camping to the castle grounds for a trial period between April and September.

The green scheme would accommodate five medievalstyle tents for up to 22 visitors to the castle and local area.

The owners have now submitted a separate application to create a new entrance for cars and coaches in Monmouth Road and a newdrive that would serve Usk Castle and Castle Farm.

They also want to expand the visitor car park to accommodate 24 cars and to allow coaches to park and turn, as well as putting up new signs at the entrance to encourage more tourism.

Architects Buckle Chamberlain and Partnership Ltd says in its design statement that the existing lane is narrow and used by both pedestrians visiting the castle, walkers, vehicles and agricultural vehicles using Castle Farm.

It also says there are no sufficient passing places and visibility is limited at the junction onto Monmouth Road and Castle Parade, which serves as the town’s main road in Usk.

The junction has been deemed ‘substandard and dangerous’ but the new entrance will be wider and provide better visibility as it is set back eight metres from the road, making it safer for both pedestrians and motorists.