‘How can they let a giant microwave be built here?’

The house that will be built on Harbour Road in Beadnell.
The house that will be built on Harbour Road in Beadnell.

AN OBJECTOR to a new home on the north Northumberland coast has questioned how much notice is paid to local opinion, after the plans were approved despite strong objections from the parish council and residents.

The scheme to build a new contemporary-style home on Harbour Road in Beadnell was unanimously approved by members at the last meeting of Northumberland County Council’s north area planning committee on July 7.

Speaking after the meeting, James Williamson, of the Save Beadnell Association, said: “Members of the parish council all turned up (to the committee’s site visit) to object to it and it just makes you wonder where local opinion fits into this planning process.

“It doesn’t matter what the local people want, it depends what the planning officer wants.”

Members had deferred the decision at the June meeting to go on a site visit and consequently decided that the variety of architectural and design styles on Harbour Road meant that this modern, flat-roofed property, described by some in the village as resembling a microwave, according to Mr Williamson, would not be out of place.

The proposed height of the home had also been reduced from an earlier plan.

Coun Trevor Thorne said: “The interesting thing for me about Harbour Road is the mix of housing styles.

“There are similar properties on that road that it will complement.”

Coun Anthony Murray said: “As far as I was concerned, there is currently adequate room on the site for the footprint of the building and I also think there was adequate room for the revised height of the building.

“There’s a huge difference of architecture on Harbour Road and I don’t think this would be uncomplementary to the buildings there.”

The applicant Stephen Miller described the design as ‘optimistic and forward-looking’ and said it ‘will raise the bar for future development’.

Mr Williamson had also spoken out against the proposals at last Thursday’s meetings.

“All the houses in the immediate vicinity are one or one-and-a-half storeys with pitched roofs,” he said.

“This building will stick out like the proverbial sore thumb.

“At a recent meeting, Peter Rutherford (the county council’s north area development manager) said planning was about getting the right development in the right place at the right time.

“This is the wrong development in the wrong place, irrespective of the time.”