Café and restaurant plan for Northumberland seaside village meets with objection from parish council
Plans for a café and restaurant near one of Northumberland’s best beaches have met with a mixed response from local councillors.
Amended plans by Stephen Dixon for the Beadnell site propose a ground-floor bar and beachside venue for light meals, including an outdoor seating area, while there would be a more formal restaurant dining space with some balcony and terrace space on the first floor.
Beadnell Parish Council decided to object to the scheme on the casting vote of chairman Alison Nation at a planning meeting on Wednesday.
Cllr Nation said: “I don’t support this application as it stands.
"When we met the developer quite recently, the parish council was told the design was subtle, in keeping with its surroundings and not industrial.
"What we did all agree was that it was a unique site and a unique opportunity.
"This building will be around for many years, it’s large and it’s in a prominent location and care should be taken.
"I was hoping that when the third storey viewing platform was removed there would also be other changes to the design and proposed materials.
"This is certainly not, to my mind, an exceptional design for this unique site.
"Whilst many look forward to the additional amenities that the development would bring to the area, my impression is that many are still unhappy with the design, materials or in keeping with its surroundings in an AONB area.
"I think it’s important to say that we all support the idea of a development such as this. It would be useful to both holidaymakers and residents but perhaps more could be done on the design and materials front.”
She was supported by Cllr Adrian Baker who objected to the metal cladding rather than the design itself.
Local resident Christine Williamson added: “Such an industrial looking building would have a negative impact on the location.”
The current application, for a site within 100 yards of the beach, has met with more than 20 letters of objection and four letters of support.
It is envisaged the scheme would create 10 to 15 full-time jobs and around 30 part-time jobs.
Cllr Jen Hall said: “I would be quite happy for it to go ahead. It will be interesting to see how it is going to weather. I think they will take great pride in it – it’s not like it’s a McDonald’s or whatever.
"I am hoping we are going to get year-round employment from it and it will extend the holiday season. If Beadnell is going to be a holiday village then it needs to go for it.”
Cllr John Rhind added: “I see this as a visitor attraction and a local amenity with economic benefits in terms of employment. I think that’s important because we are looking at a big expansion in the number of permanent residents of the village in the next couple of years.
"I don’t think you can win every point in a game of tennis but we’ve won a lot of points on this and that’s enough for me to continue to support this.”
A final decision will be taken by Northumberland County Council.