Expansion plans for Northumberland coastal pub prompt huge response from local residents, customers and suppliers
Plans to expand a gastropub and inn on the Northumberland coast have met with a huge response.
A planning application for an extension to The Joiners Arms in Newton-by-the-Sea, along with the creation of a kitchen garden with five new shepherds hut-style bedrooms on nearby land, was submitted in March.
It has now met with 70 objections but also attracted 96 letters of support.
The 10-bedroom inn is operated by the Apartment Group, which also runs Newton Hall Hotel and its adjoining caravan park.
A planning document on behalf of the applicant states: ‘In addition to a dining room and kitchen extension to the building, the proposal also includes the introduction of a new working kitchen garden and potager on land to the west of the pub. This new garden is also the site of five shepherds hut style bedroom structures – the Potting Sheds - to be let as additional bedrooms for the pub.
‘There is a strong demand for quality accommodation, dining and experiences for visitors to the Northumberland coastal area. This demand, however, isn’t met by the current supply of luxury accommodation in the area.
‘Meeting this demand is important to the economy of the county and the wider region. This proposal to create new dining space, an enhanced food offer and five additional rooms at the Joiners site sets out to help meet that demand.’
Newton-by-the-Sea Parish Council and the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership are among the statutory consultees which have raised concerns.
The parish council raises concerns about the impact on nearby residents including noise and loss of privacy, while also expressing fears about the erosion of the village’s rural character.
AONB officer Sarah Winlow adds: ‘The extension is considered overly large and long in relation to its host building and siting in the pub garden, adjacent to Town Close. Clearly the architect's brief was to create a larger internal space and such a design may work in the more dense, built-up environment of a city or town but looks out of place in the context of a rural village such as High Newton.’
However, dozens of supporters, including suppliers and customers, point out its contribution to the area’s tourism economy and its importance as a year-round employer.
Jannick Genouw from Harry Hotspur Holdings Group – the firm behind Lindisfarne Mead, Alnwick Rum and the Alnwick Brewery Company – stated: ‘We are fully supportive of the planning application submitted by The Joiners Arms and feel this will be beneficial to the village and the surrounding area and will only increase its popularity with locals and tourists alike.’
Pub chef and Newton resident, Ryan Stephenson, adds: ‘Having a kitchen garden will allow us to use the freshest, seasonal, sustainably sourced ingredients in our dishes to continue offering such a high quality of food to our customers.
‘The expansion will also allow us to continue to support local food and drink suppliers and small businesses.
‘It is an absolute fact that this scheme will bring more guests to Northumberland who will also be able to enjoy the other fantastic local attractions - visiting the castles, local shopping areas and other hospitality premises during their stay.’
A final decision will be taken by Northumberland County Council.