Farm barn set to get green light

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CONTROVERSIAL plans for a new farm building look set to get the go-ahead next week despite more than 120 objections.

Ivor Gaston, based at Duns, has applied to erect a steel-framed livestock building, a 10,000-litre effluent tank as well as associated access, temporary accommodation, parking, fencing, landscaping, sewage treatment plant and drainage at Dunstan Steads Farm in Embleton.

And members of Northumberland County Council’s north area planning committee are recommended to approve the scheme at their meeting next Thursday.

The plans have met stiff opposition with 126 objections, a petition signed by 416 names – 118 locals and 298 from further afield, as well as an objection from Embleton Parish Council.

The concerns include issues such as the scale of development and potential for additional development, visual impact including on the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, impact on residential amenity, increased traffic and the impact on tourism and the visitor economy.

In his application, Mr Gaston explained that it was his intention to use the Dunstan Steads site to rear young cattle before they would be moved to his Ravelaw Farm in the Borders.

The planning officer’s report recognises that the development ‘raises a number of key issues and that these have resulted in a high level of interest in and objection to the proposed development from local residents, businesses and visitors to the area.’

But it concludes that the proposals ‘would result in an acceptable form of agricultural development in this countryside location that would not cause any significant or demonstrable harm and effects to the site and surrounding area, including the Northumberland Coast AONB and other designated sites in the locality, the setting of Dunstanburgh Castle, the amenity of local residents, tourism and highway safety.’