The county council is proposing ‘a very significant investment’ in a village on the north Northumberland coast, but not everyone is in favour of the plans.
An application has been submitted for a new coastal activities base and café, incorporating public toilets, changing and shower facilities, on the overspill car park at Beadnell Bay.
Earlier this year, it was reported that the council was submitting a bid for £1.15million to the Coastal Communities Fund, with the local authority expected to contribute the remaining 20 per cent – around £300,000.
The building would then be leased to a tenant, who would be responsible for the toilets and changing facilities, with the rent likely to be around £25,000 a year.
But resident Toby Page says there are concerns about this plan in the village, not least because it will make the ‘chaos of car parking’ even worse.
He added: “The proposed lease at £25,000 a year will need a lot of visitors to make it a viable proposition so it doesn’t really make sense for the council to pursue this course of action.
“The main driver seems to be to get someone else to be responsible for the public toilets other than the council.”
A spokeswoman for Northumberland County Council said: “The proposal aims to improve services for visitors and residents and support the economy on this part of the Northumberland coast.
“As part of the proposal, car-parking improvements are planned – including securing separate entrance and exit points and realigning and formalising parking spaces so that the number maximum of spaces are achieved.
“There has already been interest in operating the new facilities and we are confident that this development will be of benefit to the local community.
“If planning permission is achieved and the coastal communities funding bid is successful, the development will represent a very significant investment in this popular destination, helping to foster a sustainable future for Beadnell.”
Ben O'Connell, Local Democracy Reporting Service