Decision day for Beadnell homes plan

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CONTROVERSIAL plans for three new homes in a Northumberland coastal village may go ahead despite strong objections and a petition signed by more than 2,500 residents and villagers.

Applications from the Beadnell Harbour Fishermen’s Society to build one house at White Rock and two at the Haven site in the village as well as listed building consent are recommended for approval at Wednesday’s meeting of Northumberland County Council’s area planning committee north.

A report to members from planning officers suggests that the approval is subject to a section 106 agreement which would ensure ‘that the financial proceeds arising from this development secure the future upkeep and dredging of the Harbour’ as well as the conservation of various historical artefacts including the grade-II listed bark pots at the Haven site.

However objectors, over and above issues of impact on the area of outstanding natural beauty, wildlife, residential amenity and the sea views in the village among others, state that an ‘exceptional case’, namely the future of the harbour, has not been proved sufficiently and claim there are other ways to fund the upkeep of the area.

In an objection letter, on behalf of the Save Beadnell Association, David Stowell wrote: “There is no explanation or justification given for some of the costs attached to the maintenance of the harbour nor do they appear to have been audited by an appropriately qualified independent person.”

But the planning officer concluded: “Whilst the principle of general residential development on the seaward side of Harbour Road would be unlikely to be supported, the proposal as submitted provides a special case as development which will help to secure the future upkeep of Beadnell Harbour and associated Heritage assets for the long term.”

Along with the section 106 agreement, the recommended approval details 16 different conditions to limit potential problems with the developments.

The scheme has been rumbling on for nearly a year with the number of houses in the development being reduced from an initial four, three at the Haven site and one at White Rock, and objectors, led by the Save Beadnell Association, making footpath and village green applications at both sites.

The thee footpaths were declared rights of way at the March meeting of the county council’s rights of way committee while the village green applications have not been dealt with yet.

The area planning committee north meeting takes place at 7pm on Wednesday in Alnwick Council Chamber.