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Coastal plan going out to referendum

An aerial view of Seahouses. Picture by Paul Kiddell
An aerial view of Seahouses. Picture by Paul Kiddell

No more second homes – that’s the message from three communities on the north Northumberland coast, whose neighbourhood plan goes to referendum later this month.

The North Northumberland Coast Neighbourhood Plan, which encompasses the villages of Bamburgh, Beadnell and Seahouses, has reached the final stage after passing independent examination.

To be adopted, it must now pass local referendum, which is taking place on Thursday, May 24, between 7am and 10pm, with a majority of those who vote required.

One of the key policies is that any new homes in the three parishes must be permanent residences, that is, lived in full-time and not second or holiday homes.

The precedent for this is a similar restriction placed on the 45 new homes on land south of Kennedy Green in Beadnell which were approved in early January 2017. At the time, the Gazette headline asked ‘Example for the future or exercise in futility?’

Andy Brown, from Beadnell Under Threat, which fought these plans, said: “The crucial elements of our neighbourhood plan, that will preserve the integrity of our coastal communities, are the designated settlement boundaries and policy 14 to ensure permanent occupancy of all new-builds.

“A Yes vote in the referendum would not only affect a positive outcome to planning regulations, but also demonstrate a united front against the march of the developers.”

The neighbourhood plan and supporting documents can be read online via the county council’s neighbourhood planning page – https://tinyurl.com/y7sc3oba – or hard copies are available at County Hall in Morpeth and Seahouses Sports and Community Centre.