A house plan described as a tragedy for the Heritage Coast has been rejected by councillors and its handling by county planners called into question.
The property was intended to replace a former single-storey shepherd’s cottage, Link House near Beadnell, surrounded by farmland and sand dunes.
County planners had worked with the applicant’s agents to help design a building that would dwarf the humble cottage and the result was described as ‘a building with considerable presence’ by planning chief Peter Rutherford.
But scores of villagers who packed Alnwick’s council chamber last night saw the north area planning committee refuse permission by six votes to one.
Local member Coun Pat Scott said such a controversial application should be tested on appeal.
As chair of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership, which spans Warkworth to south of Berwick, she said it was the first in the country to have an integrated management plan. The committee should give serious consideration to the very strong letter of objection from the AONB officer.
“What does concern me is that the committee has not had sight of this letter from the AONB until this evening and it is not on the public access system.”
However, a letter sent at the same time about another application did appear on the system, she said.
“This inconsistency by the planning department is a cause of concern, not only to members of the public but to myself as an elected member.”
FOR FULL STORY AND MORE FROM LAST NIGHT’S MEETING OF THE NORTH AREA PLANNING COMMITTEE, SEE NEXT THURSDAY’S NORTHUMBERLAND GAZETTE.