Belford and Felton plans back before councillors

The Blue Bell Hotel at Belford.
The Blue Bell Hotel at Belford.

Two plans are back before councillors for a decision after they chose to take a closer look on site visits.

A proposal to redevelop Acton Caravan Park, at Felton, and an application for nine new houses and a 14-unit camp site on land behind the Blue Bell Hotel in Belford first went before last month’s North Northumberland Local Area Council meeting.

But in each case, councillors voted to defer the decision in order to see the sites, meaning they are back on the agenda for tomorrow’s meeting. Both are recommended for approval.

In Belford, Moorlands Holdings North East, the hotel’s owner, wants to build five three-storey homes, cut into the hillside, on what used to be part of the hotel’s kitchen garden but has been unused for more than 20 years.

A further four homes are planned in a field bounded to the east by St Mary’s churchyard, reached by an extended access road.

The lower half of the field, north and west of St Cuthbert’s Drive, would host 14 glamping pods as well as a toilet/shower block.

Belford Parish Council has objected due to its concerns over the access, suitability of the site and the visual impact on the historic coaching inn and St Mary’s Church.

If approved, a coastal mitigation contribution from the applicant of £600 per home and £350 per camp/caravan unit, totalling £10,300, would be secured via a section 106 legal agreement.

The application at Acton Caravan Park is for three touring van pitches, three glamping pod pitches, two camping pitches, a treehouse and a lodge.

The scheme prompted 25 letters of complaint and eight letters of support, with the objections chiefly based on concerns over highways safety, namely the ‘inadequate’ access road, which had ‘dangerous blind corners’.

The county council’s highways department has raised no objections, subject to conditions.

Ben O'Connell, Local Democracy Reporting Service