Fresh clash over latest plans for new Northumberland cafe and restaurant overlooking Beadnell Bay

Fresh plans for a café and restaurant overlooking one of north Northumberland’s most popular beaches are proving controversial once more.

By Ben O'Connell
Monday, 23rd November 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Monday, 23rd November 2020, 5:16 pm

The application explains that he ‘wishes to apply for an updated design that better reflects the ambition of the developers and restaurateurs to create a destination venue for this amazing location at Beadnell Bay’.

Northumberland Estates’ first bid to develop the plot – to the south-west of Sandy Lane Court, Bernicia Way – was approved by six votes to three at the August 2019 meeting of the North Northumberland Local Area Council.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The area is often subject to parking congestion, with the applicant highlighting that this bid will help ease the pressure.

That proposal had been recommended for approval by planning officers, but had attracted more than 100 objections, although only 40 were from Beadnell residents.

The new plans are also attracting opposition, with one ‘long-standing lover of Beadnell Bay’, who did not wish to be named, suggesting the development will ‘destroy the historic character of the beautiful Beadnell beach area’.

“For decades this area has been a traditional beach holiday and day-trip destination for thousands of families who love its unspoilt nature and its preservation of what a proper beach should be for those who use it. A rarity in this day and age,” they added.

“How very sad this is now going to be completely destroyed, gone forever by the erection of this soulless modern building, completely out of character with its surroundings.”

The application has also sparked 21 objections so far, with Judith Harper, a Harbour Road resident, writing: ‘While I recognise that there will be a development for an amenity at Beadnell, I object to this brutal, commercial design which is better suited to an out-of-town retail park, rather than on the Northumbrian coast in an area of outstanding natural beauty.

‘It is over-sized and failing to comply with planning policies which will add pressure and congestion to this part of Beadnell.’

Dawn Holmes, another village resident, agrees: ‘This whole development will, in the blink of an eye, destroy the traditional, historic seaside character of the Beadnell beach area.

‘While the beach area and car parks are very busy during the daylight hours, the area is quiet, noise and light pollution free at night.’

But there have also been four letters of support, with Bernicia Way resident Kirstie Tyson writing: ‘This development will be a great addition to the village and support the residents and visitors alike. It is clear that visitors will increase and any infrastructure will ease the extraordinary numbers we are seeing.’

The proposals comprise 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.

There would be 17 parking spaces on the main plot, with another 55 on the other side of Bernicia Way.

In a supporting letter, Mr Dixon said: “As the developer, having a holiday home of my own adjacent to the proposed development at Bernicia Way, I have a vested interest in ensuring this project meets as much of the criteria for the local and visiting community.

“The recent Covid situation has placed significant pressure on all businesses and lifestyles with Beadnell’s coast seeing unprecedented levels of visitors.

“All facilities and restaurants have been at breaking point during the popular periods and 2020 has placed the area under immense pressure and wear. Clearly, it seems, 2021 will be no different.”

He also says that the scheme would create 10 to 15 full-time jobs and around 30 part-time jobs.

The dramatic events of 2020 are having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers and consequently the advertising that we receive. We are now more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news by buying a copy of our newspaper. If you can, please do pick up a copy when you are at the shops. Thank you for your support.