Police pledge enforcement action 'where necessary' on second home owners in Northumberland

Police have pledged to take enforcement action where necessary to stop second home owners spending lockdown on the Northumberland coast.

Thursday, 7th May 2020, 4:17 pm
Updated Saturday, 9th May 2020, 12:07 pm

Concerns about the number of second home owners staying in villages such as Beadnell, Seahouses and Alnmouth have been raised in recent weeks.

One second home owner, who did not want to be named, has admitted receiving a letter from Northumbria Police.

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Beadnell beach. Picture by Jane Coltman

“They wanted to check we were following government guidelines,” she said.

However, they are allowed to stay because they arrived before lockdown while their house in Newcastle is being renovated.

“It’s very quiet,” she added. “We haven’t seen anyone who looks like they’ve just come up for the day. If people were coming back and forth it would be different.”

A Northumbria Police spokesperson said: “We are aware of the comments made during a virtual meeting of the Beadnell Parish Council in which concerns were raised over the number of second home owners staying the area.

“Our neighbourhood policing teams across Northumberland have been carrying out regular patrols and engagement activity to ensure residents are following the important stay-at-home guidelines. We have had regular contact with Northumberland County Council and local councillors since lockdown began.

“There are many holiday homes along the Northumberland coastline and when concerns are raised about potential breaches to the Government guidance, we will continue to engage, explain and encourage people to comply with it – taking enforcement action where necessary to protect our communities.

“It is vital we all play our part in combating Covid-19 and follow the restrictions which are in place – together we can make a real difference.”

The government advises that essential travel does not include visits to second homes, camp sites, caravan parks or similar, whether for isolation purposes or holidays. People must remain in their primary residence.

A 2014 housing needs survey by the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Partnership revealed the extent of holiday home domination in some communities, with Newton-by-the-Sea at 82 per cent, Beadnell at 80 per cent and Bamburgh at 53 per cent.

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