Harbour can be multi-functional

MR Wall has concentrated so much time, money and effort in pursuing his ambition to develop the coastline that he has either never considered, or what is more likely, chosen not to consider, what the future role of Beadnell Harbour might be.

Historically, this harbour has been a hive of activity.

Initially, it was constructed primarily to facilitate the transportation of lime from Beadnell.

When this activity fell into decline, the harbour became the centre for what became quite large-scale fishing.

This in turn has fallen into decline and though perhaps not quite terminal, it is doubtful whether there will ever again be more than two or three fishermen working from the harbour.

This change of circumstances is a fact that cannot be denied and should not be ignored.

Mr Wall’s plan is for the harbour to continue to be an under-used facility and potentially an entirely unused one – an empty memorial of past times.

This never happened in the past when there was change and neither should it happen in the future.

Changing circumstances dictate that alternative uses of the harbour should be encouraged so that it can once again become a hive of activity, a focus of interest, an asset that generates income and a fully-utilized facility in line with, as acknowledged by Mr Wall, the wishes of Sir John Craster.

Far from embracing change, Mr Wall chooses to resist it.

Beadnell’s harbour has reached another stage in its evolution as a working harbour.

In Mr Wall, the Fisherman’s Society has just the man who could assist this change but will not. Recognised as the North East’s doyen of dealmakers, Mr Wall knows that it does not make sense to sell off assets in order to support an enterprise that could, if properly managed, be made to fund itself in order for it not be a drain on resources.

However, he has a vested interest in ensuring that the harbour does continue to be a drain on resources. He uses this to provide himself with the perfect opportunity to claim an exceptional case for the highly-lucrative development he proposes on Beadnell’s coastline.

A solution to the funding of the harbour requires nothing more than increased usage of its facilities and that Mr Wall steadfastly refuses to consider.

The claim that fishing and other boat-related activities could not carry on side by side is absurd.

Seahouses harbour exemplifies that mixed use not only works but also is essential and beneficial – it provides alternative work for those who no longer go fishing, it attracts visitors and as a consequence generates income for the town and surrounding area. This harbour’s future is secure.

This approach to the problem of funding would bring similar benefits to Beadnell and secure the coastline from the depredations of developers.

How can an exceptional case for building on this protected coastline be claimed before all other methods of funding have been exhaustively examined?

Mr Gomersall raised this point in his letter dated 27/01/11.

Is it an oversight as he suggested or has the Planning Department just simply accepted Mr Wall’s dictat that he is not going to consider any solution to funding that does not involve the development of the coastline? Whatever the answer, this is unsatisfactory, as an exceptional case to build has not been established.

Mr Wall talks with enthusiasm and glowing terms of his passion for change and progress.

In reality his ideas are nothing but an opportunist attempt at asset stripping, which if allowed would bring unwanted and unnecessary development and do permanent damage to Beadnell’s coastline. His vision is regressive and destructive. He talks of stewardship of assets and of Sir John Craster’s passion for working assets as though he and Sir John have the same vision.

It is insulting to the memory of Sir John to imply that he would approve of this proposal to build on land that he deliberately protected by covenant when he gifted it to the care and stewardship of Beadnell’s fishing community.

Shame on you Mr Wall! Your greed and mendacity are boundless.

G Wilde,

Harbour Road,

Beadnell