Controversial cafe and restaurant plans for Northumberland coast approved despite more than 100 objections

Controversial plans for a two-storey café and restaurant in a seaside village have been approved - despite more than 100 objections.
Beadnell Bay
Picture by Jane ColtmanBeadnell Bay
Picture by Jane Coltman
Beadnell Bay Picture by Jane Coltman

Northumberland Estates is planning to develop a prime site in Beadnell, just 100 yards from its renowned beach.

Members of the North Northumberland Local Area Council voted 6-3 in favour of the scheme, in line with the recommendation of planning officers at Northumberland County Council.

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Councillors requested that conditions be attached to the approval to secure permission for public use of the café toilets and 64-space car park.

Coun Guy Renner-Thompson had also called for a restriction on taking alcohol off the premises but was told this would have to be part of a separate licensing condition.

The application site is set within a 40-unit holiday park development with amenities including tennis courts.

As part of the approval under that application, a watersports and visitor centre, with café, was proposed but never constructed.

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Officers therefore said the the principle of a café was acceptable and would deliver economic and social benefits through an increase in service provision and recreation while also providing a boost to the local economy through increased visitor spending.

Local resident Carole Ann Field spoke of the 'carnage' the scheme could cause with drinkers taking to the beach and leaving broken glass.

There were 105 objections - although only 40 were from Beadnell residents - with concerns about noise, litter, the proposed design and its impact on the surrounding landscape.

Coun Renner-Thompson said: "This has the potential to turn into something we don't want. We have to make sure the right conditions are in place to make sure the nightmare scenario doesn't arrive.

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"The site has permission for a café which is why there is very little we can do other than mitigate what is proposed."

However, there were eight letters of support related to job creation and demand for the facility. Northumberland Coast AONB Partnership offered no objection after the plans were changed to include ground floor toilets.

Barry Spall of Northumberland Estates said: "This high quality café and restaurant will bring a significant investment in the local economy, together with jobs for the local community and support for the tourism sector."