Holiday cottages proposed in conversion of Northumberland pub

A bid to convert a north Northumberland pub into holiday homes has been lodged with the county council.

By Ben O'Connell
Tuesday, 5th February 2019, 1:48 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 4:42 pm
The Railway Inn at Acklington.
The Railway Inn at Acklington.

The local authority has received an application for the change of use of The Railway Inn at Acklington to create three cottages.

There are already another three on the site formed by a previous conversion of part of the ground floor, but this application seeks to use the remaining pub and restaurant space for another three.

As well as the existing cottages, the site features a 22-pitch touring caravan park, which was granted planning permission back in 2010.

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The caravan and camping areas are open from Easter to the end of September with the holiday cottages available all year, as is proposed for the new properties, one of which would be two-bedroom and the others one-bedroom.

The rest of the site contains private garden space, a garage/workshop building, a toilet and shower block for the camp-site, and car parking.

A design statement submitted with the application says: ‘Each of the proposed cottages have been designed with a window to every habitable room and to incorporate an outside seating area, two to the rear garden space and one facing the car park to the front.

‘All have their main entry to the front facing the car park with secondary access to the rear for the purpose of fire escape or accessing the garden areas, formed from existing window openings.

‘Each of the cottages consist of living room incorporating kitchen area, bath/shower room and one or two bedrooms.

‘It is proposed to remove a section of the existing front canopy to what would be the outside seating area to cottage A in order to open out and brighten up the area.

‘Secure cycle stores have been sited in a prominent position to the front of the building adjacent to the car park giving easy access to the site entrance and encouraging the use of cycling. It is also hoped to attract cyclists on the popular Coast and Castles cycle route which passes through Amble only four miles away from the site.’

The site features 19 parking spaces to cover eight bedrooms across six cottages, so is considered acceptable by the council’s highways team.

In terms of traffic, the site is already used for the caravan site and the three existing cottages, while the latest proposal is ‘expected to reduce overall trip levels to below its former use’.

The Railway first became an inn in the mid 1800s when the farmer decided to add some more rooms to his farmhouse and take in guests, later becoming a hotel in the 1890s.

From 1923 to 1954, the Webb brothers ran the pub, one of whom trained racehorses on the site.

During RAF Acklington’s existence, the officers used to visit the pub, including Peter Townsend, well-known for his romance for Princess Margaret and who was stationed there during the Second World War.

Ben O'Connell, Local Democracy Reporting Service