Coastal housing bid ‘not what is needed’ in Seahouses

Land adjacent to King's Field in Seahouses.
Land adjacent to King's Field in Seahouses.

Councillors in Seahouses have expressed concerns over proposals for 39 new homes, which they say are not needed and in the wrong place.

At its meeting on Monday, North Sunderland Parish Council agreed to lodge a number of objections to the plans for 39 new homes on land east of King’s Field.

As reported a fortnight ago, Northumbrian Leisure, which first submitted a larger scheme to develop this site in 2013, has now applied for full planning permission for 27 four-bedroom homes (17 detached and 10 semi-detached), six three-bedroom detached houses and six two-bedroom bungalows. Of these, 10 would be for ‘prime occupancy’ – for full-time residents not holiday lets – and four of the bungalows would be affordable.

However, as highlighted by objector Malcolm Cresswell at the meeting, the prominent site is in the area of outstanding natural beauty, so there would need to be exceptional circumstances to approve the bid.

The applicant claims that the 25 per cent of homes for prime occupancy would meet this requirement, but a recent, similar scheme in Beadnell was only approved with 100 per cent prime occupancy.

Coun David Donaldson said: “We don’t need these houses; we have ample four-bedroom houses and most of them are holiday lets. That’s what this development is really appealing to. What we really need is two or three-bedroom houses.”

Coun David Shiel asked how many homes on King’s Field, out of a total of 77, were occupied full-time. He was told 20 and added: “What do they need another 39 for?”

Coun Mick McCarthy said that during the development of the neighbourhood plan for Seahouses, Beadnell and Bamburgh, what had excited him most was the emphasis on coastal protection. “This is an inappropriate development in an inappropriate area,” he added. “They need to come back in areas we have identified for development then we can look at what we need.”