`

Canal boats could be farmland holiday homes

A picture of the one of the barges, submitted with the planning application.
A picture of the one of the barges, submitted with the planning application.

In a novel example of rural diversification, plans have been submitted to put two barges on farmland for use as holiday accommodation.

A full application has been submitted on behalf of applicants Mr and Mrs C Armstrong for the change of use of agricultural land to mixed-use tourism and agricultural land to the west of North Charlton.

The proposal, which was lodged with Northumberland County Council this month, is to provide two canal boats and associated infrastructure, including a parking area and decking, for holiday-letting purposes.

The site, which is near the Wandylaw covered reservoir and a disused quarry, would be accessed from the unclassified road which leads from the A1 to the east.

A statement submitted by agent George F White explains that ‘the proposed development would provide a diversification of the existing agricultural business on site’.

It adds: ‘Parking will be provided within informally, adjacent to the boat while luggage will be transported through a wheelbarrow service, if required (weather dependent).’

The report concludes: ‘The proposed development will provide additional visitor accommodation in an established tourist area, while also helping to support a sustainable rural economy. It will further help to diversify an existing rural business.’

Ben O'Connell, Local Democracy Reporting Service