A1 dualling fears scupper holiday park plans

PLANS for a new holiday park in north Northumberland were thrown out by councillors last night due to concerns that it could jeopardise the future dualling of the A1.

The scheme – named Elm Park and consisting of 36 holiday lodges and nine touring caravan pitches – would be situated on land to the east of Burgham Park Golf Club and west of the A1, but the ‘green’ preferred route for a dualled A1 would go right through the site.

At last night’s meeting of Northumberland County Council’s north area planning committee, ward member Coun Glen Sanderson said the scheme ‘would mark the beginning of the end of this campaign that has been worth fighting for and is still worth fighting for’.

And committee members agreed, pointing out that councillors of all politcal colours had been fighting to get the A1 dualled for many years.

Coun Trevor Thorne, who moved the refusal of the plans, said: “I’m not going to be the councillor who sabotages the green route of the A1.

“Everyone agrees this is what we want, this is what we need, to open up the economy of Northumberland.”

Members were also critical of the Highways Agency, which did not object to the scheme as the A1 dualling was not in the schedule of major works up to 2016.

Coun Dougie Watkin proposed deferring the decision and going back to the Highways Agency, although this was turned down after Jack Watson, the county council’s highways development officer, told the committee that ‘it had gone to ministerial level and this was the decision’.