Protection of coastline wins the day

The existing Link House, north of Beadnell.
The existing Link House, north of Beadnell.

Objectors have welcomed a decision by a planning inspector to upheld a county council decision to refuse the construction of a new house in the dunes on the north Northumberland coast.

In October last year, Northumberland County Council’s north area planning committee threw out plans to replace a former single-storey shepherd’s cottage, Link House near Beadnell, with a new house.

The property sits alone in the sand dunes between Beadnell and Seahouses and there were concerns from objectors, led by the Save Beadnell Association, about the effect it would have on the heritage coastline and area of outstanding natural beauty.

The applicants appealed the decision, which went against planning officer advice, but planning inspector David Cullingford agreed with the councillors’ rejection of the scheme.

In his conclusion, he wrote: “I agree that the design has been carefully researched. But it seems to me that the result of those efforts has somehow misfired.

“Of course, the castles on the Northumberland Coast are conspicuous. But there is a synergy between those majestic monuments and the cliffs and crags that they occupy. In contrast, these dunes offer a far gentler transition between the seashore and the flat farmland, rendering the prominence of such a large dwelling obtrusive, a perception likely to be accentuated by its isolation amidst this relatively empty coastal landscape.”

It’s the second victory for the Save Beadnell Association in as many months.

As reported in the Gazette last month, an inspector threw out an appeal against three public rights of way across two disputed sites in Beadnell.

It followed an inquiry held in December last year after Northumberland County Council’s rights of way committee made an order on the routes across the controversial White Rock and Haven sites in the village, the subject of past applications for development by Beadnell Harbour Fishermen’s Society, which claims the homes will provide money to protect and pay for the upkeep of the harbour.