Totally out of place here

The existing Link House, north of Beadnell.
The existing Link House, north of Beadnell.
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This is the second application to knock down the existing Link House and replace it with a modern, much larger dwelling. The first was rejected by the north area planning committee and then by an inspector when the applicant decided to appeal.

There is not a shadow of doubt that this application goes against all the protections in place on this stretch of our beautiful Heritage coastline.

This area is designated as an AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) with the emphasis on the words: Natural beauty. Modern architecture, on this scale, has no place here. One glance at the artists impression makes it clear for all to see that the intention would be to replace a discreet cottage with what can only be described as a steel and glass ‘Warehouse in the dunes’. Is this what we really want in our treasured, irreplaceable landscape?

The existing 111-year-old former land workers cottage is presently run as a holiday let. The owner does not live in the locality. He claims to have 40 letters of support for his demolition and rebuilding plans but it is interesting to note that none of these so called supporters live within the parish where the property stands.

They come from as far away as York, Sunderland, Gateshead, Rowlands Gill, indeed everywhere except the area in question.

We know this because all letters and comments are are on the council’s planning website. I’m afraid the applicants method of garnering support, by harnessing his far-flung friends and their families, will be seen by the decision makers for what it’s worth, as having no credibility whatsoever; not least because not one of these letters is based on planning arguments.

The 60 plus letters of objection however, are from people and bodies (parish councils, AONB, Council for the Protection of Rural England) who have taken the time and trouble to point out, by using the NPPF (National Planning Policy Framework) how the proposal fails to meet criteria for approval.

Also, it is important to mention, the vast majority of objectors actually live within the parish, have no financial interest one way or another, but do have a genuine interest in protecting their beautiful coastline for future generations to enjoy in its natural state.

The title of the article ‘mixed views on home plans’ is therefore somewhat misleading. In reality, the majority of objectors live in the locality and they are angry that their multi-protected environment is threatened yet again.

The supporters on the other hand, and without exception, reside in other parts of the country and are advocating something that would not impinge on their own personal neighbourhoods in any way. Degrading our Heritage coastline, miles away from where they live, would not seem to matter one jot if their mate can build his super duper money spinner in the Dunes! It’s a bit like supporting a planning application for a nuclear power station at Berwick when you know it won’t affect you ‘cos you live in Cleethorpes!

Unfortunately, it is a fact of life that people will always try to exploit our natural resources for their own financial ends.

This is just the latest attempt (by an absentee owner with his absentee friends) to do so. It is just as well that there are growing numbers of people and organisations who recognise that the Northumberland coastline is an irreplaceable asset for all to enjoy and appreciate and who are prepared to resist inappropriate developments that would surely destroy that which is best about this stretch of our historic county.

Jim Norris,

Save Beadnell Association