LISTED building consent has been sought to improve fire safety in a ruined medieval castle.

The agent Spence and Dower submitted a planning application to Northumberland County Council on behalf of the English Heritage Trust to upgrade an existing plant room to improve fire compartmentation at the Grade I listed Prudhoe Castle.

A plant room is a dedicated space containing equipment required to provide or supply building services including ventilation, electrical distribution, water and more.

The application proposes to divide the plant room, located on the ground floor of the castle's Manor House, to form a new dedicated plant and storage room.

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The Manor House also contains an exhibition and shop and is let to an apartment tenant on the first floor.

The design and access statement said: "English Heritage has received advice about fire safety and compartmentalisation in the building. This has highlighted significant concerns with this room and the need to make improvements to layout and construction to allow the space to fulfil its current functions.

"At present, the current layout does not meet operational or safety requirements including issues of security, storage, and fire compartmentalization."

Upgrading the existing plant room's walls and ceilings would bring it up to current fire safety standards between the room, other ground-floor areas, and the first-floor flat above.

No objections were submitted on ecological, archaeological or architectural grounds.

A comment submitted by the county council's environment and design team said: "There is also a requirement for other rooms currently in use with distinct functions to be provided with dedicated and secure storage space. Because of the nature of some of the items (e.g. shop stock, maps, leaflets, etc.), they are incompatible with the nature and of the plant room and proximity, hence the need to partition it."

The design and access statement added: "The Castle is an architecturally complex site with a complex history. The keep and the lower part of the gatehouse date from the 12th century with significant additions over the course of the next three centuries. The present manor house dates from the early 19th century."

Prudhoe Town Council agreed to support the application.

For more information, go to the council's planning portal and search reference number 24/00282/LBC.