New caravan and campsite at Druridge Bay Country Park given go-ahead

Northumberland County Council’s bid for a new caravan and camping site at Druridge Bay Country Park has been given the green light.

Wednesday, 22nd May 2019, 1:12 pm
Druridge Bay Country Park. Picture by Anne Hopper

The proposals, for a plot to the south of Ladyburn Lake, were approved by eight votes to two by the North Northumberland Local Area Council this week.

The scheme had attracted 35 objections from residents – and three letters of support – while East Chevington Parish Council was opposed to what it described as ‘simply commercialisation of public land’, but no objectors spoke against the application at Tuesday’s (May 21) meeting.

The planning officer’s report said that camping provision was specifically included in the provision when the park was created in 1983, before opening to the public three years later.

It adds that the area in question continues to be used for camping to this day, but ‘due to the modern popularity of caravans/camper-vans, the current set-aside area is no longer considered fit for purpose.’

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Coun Jeff Watson said: “It’s quite obvious that the area we are talking about is already used for this purpose at various times.

“They are very, very screened sites and there’s some extra planting to make up for the few that need to be taken out.”

The development will provide stone-surfaced access tracks and 20 caravan/camper-van pitches with electrical hook-up points and nearby water standpipes. Seven grass tent pitches will also be available.

A waste-water cassette wash-out facility will be located nearby, as well as a small modular building with facilities for washing dishes.

It will operate for a maximum of seven months of the year, between the beginning of April and the end of October.

The camping and caravan facilities are part of a wider renovation scheme for the park, which were first unveiled by the county council last February.

The almost £1million scheme to improve Druridge Bay as well as Plessey Woods Country Park, between Bedlington and Stannington, and Bolam Lake Country Park, near Morpeth, is being funded through the reintroduction of parking charges at the three sites.

At Druridge Bay, the play area reopened last August following a £130,000 refurb, before, in October, a planning application for an extension to the café area and internal alterations to the visitor centre to form three showers within the toilet area, as well as a new patio area, was given the green light.

Ben O'Connell, Local Democracy Reporting Service