Earth shelter rears head again as appeal submitted

The site of the proposed earth shelter in Beadnell. Ref: JCNG 240614site 2
The site of the proposed earth shelter in Beadnell. Ref: JCNG 240614site 2

The thorny issue of building homes on the coast in a north Northumberland village looks set to be back on the agenda after an appeal was lodged.

Development on the seaward side of Harbour Road in Beadnell has long caused consternation with residents and the same was true when a bid was submitted to build an earth shelter on land north-west of 15 Harbour Road in December 2011.

Sukie and Richard Ranken wanted to build the three-bedroomed dwelling on the site of a former World War Two air raid shelter.

It would provide around 110 sq m of accommodation, comprising an east-facing glazed lounge, with the other rooms being set into the re-profiled slope of the ground, with a continuation of the grassed landform continuing over the roof.

The scheme was eventually thrown out by Northumberland County Council’s north area planning committee in June last year.

Planning officers had recommended refusal because ‘the proposed new dwelling would result in a new elevated embankment on a prominent site on the seaward side of Harbour Road and would have the unnatural appearance of a dominating man-made structure’.

The plans had also attracted 75 objections from residents as well as from the parish council and the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership.

Now, the Rankens have submitted an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate, which they have requested to be dealt with by a hearing.

Statutory bodies and other interested parties who made representations about the original application have until Monday, February 24, to submit comments.