Objector’s ‘damning indictment’ of council procedures

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AN objector to the controversial Beadnell home plans has criticised the county council for allowing the scheme to progress so far.

The planning officer’s reports to members, which recommended for approval the construction of two homes at The Haven and one at White Rock, made it clear that ‘general residential development on the seaward side of Harbour Road would be unlikely to be supported’ without the existence of an ‘exceptional case’, namely the survival of the harbour.

Resident Glyn Wilde, in a letter to today’s Gazette, said: “The acceptance by the planning department of the exceptional case to build on Beadnell’s coastline, without first insisting that all other possible long-term solutions for funding were first investigated, was inexcusable and a damning indictment of their procedures which must not be allowed to recur.”

Throughout the planning process, objectors such as the Save Beadnell Association have claimed that there are other ways to save the harbour and that no proof has been given for an exceptional case by the Beadnell Harbour Fishermen’s Society.

However the recommendation from the planning officer was that the exceptional case had been made.

The report described the harbour as a ‘designated hertiage asset’ and said: “Whilst it continues as a working harbour the level of industry has declined and its future sustainability is parlous, unless finance is secured to sustain it in future years.

“The county council’s corporate director of finance has indicated support for the financial analysis as enabling the Society to support the upkeep of the Harbour based on the information provided by the Society.”

The county council did not want to comment further outside the meeting.