Holiday park to be created in disused quarry near Northumberland village
An outline scheme to create a holiday park at a disused quarry on a Northumberland farm has been given the nod, despite concerns in nearby Longframlington.
The application, for 35 units of accommodation, a mix of luxury chalets, static caravans and camping pods, at Framhill Farm, to the north-west of the village, was approved by seven votes to three at Tuesday’s (May 21) meeting of the North Northumberland Local Area Council.
Planners said it was an ‘on-balance decision’ with the negatives outweighed by the economic benefits, and the officer’s report concluding that the site is ‘considered a suitable location for a rural farm diversification development of this type’.
The expected number of jobs to be created is two full-time and five seasonal, while the applicant claims that the proposals could bring an additional 17,000 to 25,000 overnight visitors to the area each year, spending between £845,000 and £1.7million during their stay.
Speaking at the meeting, however, objector Robert Preston was concerned about the loss of a natural habitat, particularly given that wildlife has ‘had a bad time’ in Longframlington recently with all the housing development.
The planning officer’s report said the disused quarry had a negative impact on the landscape, but Mr Preston said: “Anyone who knows the site would disagree.”
Referring to its open-countryside location, he added: “We should all be working to protect this habitat.
“This development will be more harmful to the village than an asset.”
Coun Graham Fremlin, chairman of Longframlington Parish Council, also raised a number of concerns at the meeting, including that businesses in the village would not feel the benefit and safety fears over the A697, both in relation to additional traffic and pedestrians trying to get from the park into the village.
“My parish council is convinced that these are unwanted and unsustainable proposals and ask them to be refused,” he said.
Moving approval, the local ward member, Coun Trevor Thorne, said: “It’s a very on-balance decision. There are boxes that are ticked, but there are some limited issues too.
“The economic benefits are what tips it to approval for me. There’s a lot of spend associated with this type of accommodation.”
Coun Steven Bridgett, who had earlier sought assurances about pedestrian links to Longframlington, agreed, saying: “When the sites in Rothbury (his ward) were approved, everyone said they wouldn’t be economic benefits and there clearly are.”
However, Coun Georgina Hill said she ‘didn’t agree with the conclusion at all’ in relation to the economic benefits, adding: “We are promoting Discover our Land and we have to be careful, because what’s so special about Northumberland is all the space.”
Ben O'Connell, Local Democracy Reporting Service