Hotel expansion plans on Northumberland coast face opposition due to parking concerns

Plans to expand a seaside hotel in Northumberland have met with opposition from local councillors.

Friday, 8th January 2021, 7:00 am

The Inn Collection Group has purchased a self-catering property and buildings adjacent to The Bamburgh Castle Inn in Seahouses which it plans to develop into 18 additional bedrooms.

However, the absence of any additional parking provision has resulted in an objection being submitted by North Sunderland Parish Council.

Cllr David Donaldson said: “We have already got a problem in the summer with car parking in the village.

The Bamburgh Castle Inn, Seahouses. Picture: Tracey Bloxham

"If this large development goes ahead there is just nowhere for them to park.

"It’s no good them saying they can park in the main car park. It’s full of tourists in the summer.”

Cllr Sylvia Hillan added: “If they are extending the dining area that is more cars again. It’s ridiculous.

"Everyone who comes (to stay) will have a least one car and the majority of people who come to eat there will have one.

Sean Donkin, managing director of The Inn Collection Group.

"It’s a very popular restaurant but where on earth are the cars going to park?

"The car park is over-run to start with so I fully understand people who live around about being extremely concerned that they are going to be inundated with cars. It’s not on.”

Cllr Alan MacFarlane said: “People are just going to park where they want. You can’t add 18 bedrooms on to a 46 bedroom hotel and expect them to rely on 22 spaces.”

Five residents of Crumstone, a nearby residential area, have lodged objections.

Among them, Sandy Ritchie said: “The developer says there is adequate public parking but that is an absolute nonsense."

The pub group say the plans will create 20 new jobs and open up year-round economic opportunities.

Plans include rooms with multiple configuration options with fully accessible bedrooms and linked rooms to accommodate multi-generational families in response to market demand for social bubble groups looking to holiday together.

Managing director Sean Donkin said: “I am delighted not only that we have been able to acquire the properties alongside The Bamburgh Castle Inn, but that this investment will generate much-needed jobs and valuable trading opportunities in these difficult times.

“The Bamburgh Castle Inn attracts overnight visitors into the Seahouses area all year round, who bring with them vital spend that goes directly into the local economy.

“Expanding our offering will be a real boost in terms of job creation but also through increased trading for partners including food and drink producers and suppliers, to tourism operators and local retailers - not just in the busy summer months, but critically out of season.

“In response to Covid and post-Brexit, we are seeing increased demand for staycations and enquiries from families looking to holiday together in their social bubbles when it is safe for them to travel. Furthermore, they are also looking to enjoy outdoor activities and open air experiences such as walking and cycling.

“Our central location is well-served by public transport links while we are a Welcome Port on the Northumberland Coast Path and on the Coast and Castles Cycle Route, so we’re ideally placed for sustainable, car-free holidays.

“By giving people choice and flexibility we are responding to customer demand while providing a viable and sustainable alternative to aparthotels by maintaining a strong food offering using local providers and creating further employment opportunities.”

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