Have all avenues been explored?

THE recent letters regarding the seaside luxury homes at Beadnell have struck a chord with many of the village residents.

Surely it is now time for the developers to stop claiming this is a private matter and put forward their case for spoiling the coastline.

Mr Wall and his partners are well aware that the developments on the sea front at Beadnell are a public and not a private matter.

That is why the Parish Council, the AONB, the National Trust, English Heritage and Natural England have been consulted.

All of these bodies as well as some NCC internal department reports have stated their opposition to this plan to spoil our coastline.

Peter Rutherford, the area development manager north, has said: “There are no policies that would support development on the seaward side of Harbour Road.”

The only reason the scheme has been allowed to proceed this far is that the developers have pleaded for an ‘exceptional case’ to raise funds to maintain Beadnell Harbour.

In order to qualify as an ‘exceptional case’, the developers have to show that they have exhausted all other means of raising the small amount of money needed to maintain the harbour.

Having rejected several different proposals put forward by the Save Beadnell Association, the developers have applied to three charities asking for funding.

As the maintenance of the harbour does not meet the charities’ criteria, this was naturally refused.

Mr Wall, as a professional accountant and developer must surely have known these applications would fail and allow the developers to claim that the building of luxury houses was the only way to raise the necessary sum.

This overlooks not only the proposals that have been put to them but also any possibility of local fund-raising.

It was surprising for the residents was to hear the area development manager extolling the virtues of these building proposals to members of NCC planning committee during a site visit.

Given that he must have known the above-mentioned facts as he has been advising the developers for several years in circumnavigating the complex planning issues surrounding this application.

It can only be hoped for the future of Northumberland’s coastline that this is a one-off oversight of scrutiny rather than an endemic problem within the planning department.

Peter Gomersall,

On behalf of the Save Beadnell Association