Fresh plans for beach-side bar and restaurant with terrace at Beadnell development

Updated plans for a two-storey café and restaurant have been lodged for a prime spot on the north Northumberland coast.

By Ben O'Connell
Monday, 19th October 2020, 11:22 am

Northumberland Estates’ bid to develop the site in Beadnell, 100 yards from the beach, was approved by six votes to three at the August 2019 meeting of the North Northumberland Local Area Council.

The application, for land south-west of Sandy Lane Court, Bernicia Way, had been recommended for approval by planning officers, but had attracted more than 100 objections, although only 40 were from Beadnell residents.

Now, a new scheme has been submitted to Northumberland County Council after the site was acquired earlier this year by applicant Stephen Dixon.

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Beadnell is one of the most popular destinations on the Northumberland coast

A design and access statement 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’.

It adds that the new 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.

Mr Dixon has also written a supporting letter to call for the application to be dealt with quickly, given that it is ‘merely a change to the design elevations, but remains on a similar footprint with a reduction in overall size’.

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

He wants to start the development in early 2021, or even later this year, to ensure that it doesn’t disrupt the main tourist season.

The Northumberland coast saw an influx of visitors over the summer as the pandemic saw people turning to UK destinations for holidays, and the trend is expected to continue.

This has, however, led to some problems as businesses struggle to cope with demand and road networks and car parks are placed under pressure.

“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,” Mr Dixon wrote.

“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.

As part of the approval of the 40-unit holiday park in which the site sits, a watersports and visitor centre, with café, was proposed but never constructed.

Last time round, planning officers therefore said the principle of a café was acceptable, while it would also deliver economic and social benefits.

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