Let this sorry ship sink without a trace

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THE more the Save Beadnell Association learn about John Wall’s attempted coastal bagging the more flabbergasted we become.

It is surely indicative of our topsy turvy world when approaching three years’ worth of planning and preparation can be devoted to the objective of maintaining a tiny harbour which, under the right guidance, is perfectly capable of looking after itself.

Never before in the annals of Beadnell has so much time, effort and money been spent in the pursuit of profit by deploying such convoluted chicanery for something essentially so simple.

Thankfully, under the gaze of public scrutiny, Mr Wall’s proposed invasion now looks to be ebbing away faster than a spring tide under a full moon.

The secretary is adamant that the only way to maintain Beadnell harbour is to release funds through development of protected land. If his plans are passed it is a condition of his ‘exceptional case’ plea that all of the fishermen’s share must be diligently dedicated to the harbour.

This could eventually reach £1.5million. How can this amount of money be used in its entirety to fund a small annual budget deficit of £2,800?

The Save Beadnell Association was under the impression that Beadnell harbour was the issue here. We didn’t realise that the object of the exercise was to raise enough money to maintain, for the foreseeable future, every harbour on the north east coast stretching from North Shields to Berwick-on-Tweed!

Coastal bagging is not possible without first clearing the planning system. For this to happen it must either be condoned or missed through lack of inquiry.

How can this be? How can a multi-million pound development project, the justification for which holds about as much water as a lobster pot on dry land, gain so much traction as to actually have the support of the relevant planning department?

The evidence is conclusive in that there is no reason to build on our heritage coastline. If a concerned residents organisation (Save Beadnell Association) has to examine and then expose the fact that the ‘exceptional case’ claim is without foundation, then it is suggestive of a failure by those professionals who are charged to carry out their duties in the fullest interests of a wider public they are meant to serve.

We are aware that as each month passes without Mr Wall’s planning application being heard, it is symptomatic of his audacious enterprise running aground. Is the delay due to a frenetic search now going on for a much desired rescue craft? Sadly, for the secretary, his chances of salvage appear to be grim.

His ship is holed below the water line and when it eventually founders many thousands of coastal lovers, in addition to the 2,600 people who actually signed the petition last summer, will dwell long and hard before throwing him a lifebelt.

The planners have assisted the passage of this disingenuous and unjustified voyage for the past two to three years.

Now that they are fully aware of the true nature of this attempted coastal incursion, the correct course of action would be to pull the plug and let it sink without trace.

Jim Norris

Save Beadnell Association