A bid to build two permanent homes in a holiday park on the north Northumberland coast has been given the green light.
At last Thursday’s meeting of the North Northumberland Local Area Council, members approved the Northumberland Estates’ bid for two three-bedroom properties on land east of 21 Bernicia Way in Beadnell.
The proposal is for a small parcel of land, which forms part of the wider Beadnell Point development of 40 holiday lets.
Residents and parish councillors were annoyed that the application breached the section 106 legal agreement attached to the original planning approval.
Alison Nation, from Beadnell Parish Council, said: “The parish council and residents would prefer it to remain as it was originally approved. It both touches on the integrity of and ability to rely on section 106 agreements.”
The main issue was that the application site was originally allocated as biodiversity enhancement land, but the Estates offered to provide off-site habitat creation in the form of wetland scrapes, which was accepted by the county ecologist.
This will require a change to the section 106 agreement, which will have to take place before the houses are built.
Planning officer Ragu Sittambalam explained that the AONB, which had objected at first, had been reconsulted on the ecological mitigation and changed its view.
AONB officer David Feige wrote: ‘While this does not directly compensate for the loss of on-site landscaping, it will provide valuable new habitats for wading birds, thereby ensuring a net gain in ecological value, if not in landscaping terms’.
The AONB’s response also described two full-time homes within a tourist development as a ‘rather curious arrangement’, but this is due to the permanent residence policy in the recently adopted North Northumberland Coast Neighbourhood Plan.
Coun Jeff Watson, who moved approval, said: “I take on board what the planning officer says and I fully take on board that the AONB has removed its objection. If they hadn’t, I would not have been supporting this.”
Coun Gordon Castle added: ”It’s right that the mitigation will be sorted out first and the permanent residence is exactly in accordance with what’s wanted locally.”
The proposal was approved by six votes to three.
Ben O'Connell, Local Democracy Reporting Service