New pitch for campsite plan

A NEW caravan and campsite finally looks set to go ahead, after more than two years of delay.

Northumberland Estates submitted a planning application to convert the former RAF Boulmer administration site in Longhoughton into a 62-pitch touring caravan and 50-pitch camping site with a reception building and two toilet and shower buildings in August 2009.

It was stalled due to technical objections from Northumbrian Water and the Environment Agency regarding the capacity at the sewage treatment works next to the site.

Now the scheme is recommended for approval at tonight’s meeting of Northumberland County Council’s north area planning committee, despite objections from residents and Longhoughton Parish Council.

Concerns include environmental impact, the economic viability of the site, traffic and pedestrian safety on Boulmer Road and public health due to the site’s proximity to the sewage works.

According to the planning officer’s report, the plans state that Northumbria Activity and Leisure Limited, working with Northumberland Estates, has been seeking a site to develop a purpose-built high-quality touring caravan and camping facility.

“It has been identified that the site is located alongside a number of long-distance footpaths and nation cycle trails. It is considered that the proposal fulfils a gap in the local market for walkers and cyclists travelling along the Northumberland coast together with the high demand for touring caravan pitches.”

The site is proposed to be open all year round and will employ six people, two full-time and four part-time, along with seasonal staff and subcontractors.

The planning officer concludes that ‘reasons for refusal could not be justified on either highways grounds, visual or landscape impact or on detriment to residential amenity’.