Caravan site expansion will ‘spread’ Northumberland tourism cash
Development bosses hope plans for an expanded caravan site will help ‘spread’ tourism cash around Northumberland more evenly.
The county has seen a boom in visitors in recent years, especially since the coronavirus pandemic forced many families to take their holidays within the UK.
The influx has put greater pressure on accommodation in hotspots, but the approved application for a further 36 caravan pitches at Tindle’s Hill Caravan Park, near Longhorsley, could offer more options.
“As we’ve talked about, there’s been a big increase in tourism in the county,” said Guy Renner-Thompson, the county council’s cabinet member for children and young people. “I’m very interested in the policy that we spread it around the county, rather than just focusing it on the coast and on Northumberland National Park.
“So to have some developments outside of the traditional tourist area is very welcome, to try to move those people and move that spend around the county, rather than just focusing in one place.”
Since the caravan park was first granted permission to open in 1995, it has had three subsequent applications to expand all accepted.
Applicant Helen Bell applied to develop neighbouring agricultural land to the south-east of the site. The number of caravan pitches allowed on the site near Brinkburn Priory has now increased from 52 to 88.
A letter of support from a local resident welcomed the boost to the local economy the proposal may have in terms of supporting nearby services.
Opposition to the proposals was led by Brinkburn and Hesleyhurst Parish Council, which claimed to have consistently opposed the business’s ‘creeping expansion’, citing the impact on views of the area and increased traffic to and from the site.
But while there was some sympathy for the criticisms, Northumberland County Council’s North Northumberland Local Area Council voted to approve the plans unanimously.
Coun Trevor Thorne said: “I do understand the scepticism of the parish council. This is a creeping development, it was once a line of caravans along the hedge, way way back, then it went for a certificate of lawfulness and it has grown.
“It’s well managed though and it’s well camouflaged and I support it.”
James Harrison, Local Demoncracy Reporting Service