Green light recommended for coastal activities centre

Vehicles in the car park and outside it over the May bank holiday weekend.
Vehicles in the car park and outside it over the May bank holiday weekend.

Proposals for ‘a very significant investment’ in a village on the north Northumberland coast are recommended for approval later this week.

An application for a new coastal activities base and café, incorporating public toilets, changing and shower facilities, by the overspill car park at Beadnell Bay, goes before the North Northumberland Local Area Council on Thursday.

The plans have sparked 20 objections from residents and, while the parish council supports the scheme in principle, it has raised several concerns too.

There were also two letters of support and the Northumberland Coast AONB Partnership has backed the development.

One of the issues raised is the impact on parking, but the scheme was amended earlier this month so that the existing parking and access arrangements are retained.

Other concerns mentioned include the impact on the character of the village, the visual impact, safety concerns, sewage, flooding and the poor design of the building.

But the planning officer’s report says: ‘It 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.’

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.

Responding to concerns when the application was submitted, 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.

“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