Coastal home appeal success

Plans from Link House, from the beach
Plans from Link House, from the beach

A scheme to rebuild a home in the dunes on the north Northumberland coast which had divided opinion has been approved on appeal.

Amended plans to demolish and replace the single-storey former shepherd’s cottage Link House, near Beadnell, were submitted in June 2014.

A previous plan for the site proved controversial and attracted numerous objections because of its size. It was refused by Northumberland County Council in 2012 and a subsequent appeal dismissed.

The newer plans significantly reduced the height of the proposal, with the new house set to sit lower than the existing bungalow.

This too was rejected by the county council, but has now been overturned on appeal.

The main issue related to the impact on the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, but planning inspector Roger Catchpole concluded it would not cause ‘significant harm’.

Ward member for the area, Coun John Woodman, said: “It’s very disappointing, particularly as recent appeal decisions had upheld the importance of protecting the AONB from unsuitable development. The inspector seemed to believe that this natural area deserved a statement building; most of us believed that a new building in that location should seek to respect rather than dominate its surroundings.

“It does raise the question of whether the system is right to let a planning inspector overrule planning decisions where no strategic issues are involved, and I have raised this policy issue with our MP.”