Hinchingbrooke Country Park Feasibility Study

Country park feasibility studyPlanning Solutions Consulting Limited was commissioned by Huntingdonshire Council to carry out an Options Appraisal and Feasibility Study for enhancing the visitor experience at Hinchingbrooke Country Park.

Our detailed research-based study produced a concept masterplan for the Park with staged investment decision points to provide for a controlled ‘business’ expansion. The plans had a strong fit with the Council’s Strategic Open Space policy within the Local Plan to support the planned future growth in Housing of 11,000 units by 2036.

Our work incorporated detailed costings and set out the key financial parameters in terms of extended car-parking and catering in particular.

The concept also embedded a healthy activity hub, exploring and enjoying the natural environment in Huntingdonshire. The aim was to also provide a start/end point for walks/cycle rides on the existing network of recreational routes.

The proposed plan identified priority developments in the short term and also presented other desirable elements and other more long-term aspirations. It also incorporated enhanced external play as a key feature during a secondary stage.

Our work focussed on:

  • Carrying out a site, market and operational review, including demographic analysis of the residential population, the tourism market, passing traffic and competitive landscape.
  • This set out the ‘baseline’ position from a visitor experience and financial perspective of Hinchingbrooke Country Park and helped to identify the potential opportunities.
  • We completed extensive consultation with staff and volunteers to understand their ambitions and aspirations for the visitor experience (and to identify any particular ‘no-go’ options). Several case examples of development projects at country parks to identify critical success factors.
  • From the research and analysis we developed a long list of uses and using a weighted scoring matrix we assessed their potential fit with the country park. A forecast visitor model was developed to help identify future visitor numbers, leading to the production of a trading profile, risk assessment and potential capital funding sources.

Find out more about HCP here.

How can we help?
If you have any questions about preparing a business plan or masterplan for a country park or recreation site or would like to discuss our work please don’t hesitate to call Richard Linington on 023 9248 1999 or email richard@pslplan.co.uk