County council planning officers say that the development, for land to the south of Newbiggin and north of the existing Sandy Bay Caravan Park, would ‘compromise the open landscape character of the site’.
The recommendation is despite the proposal to create a site with 102 pitches on farmland being supported by Newbiggin Town Council and 97 members of the public. No objection letters have been submitted.
A decision on the scheme, which also includes a reception, shop and park facilities building with visitor parking, is due at the Wednesday, October 14, meeting of the Ashington and Blyth Local Area Council, returning for the first time in more than six months.
A planning statement by agent George F White, submitted when the bid was lodged in June 2019, said: ‘Although 102 pitches are proposed, the level of land afforded to the site is significant.’
It adds that the layout ‘provides a sense of openness and allows views of the coastline and sea’ and the ‘low density means there will be significant areas of open space and landscaping helping to improve and offset any loss of ecological habitat or impact’.
The conclusion suggests that this would be an acceptable form of development, not least because ‘Newbiggin-by-the-Sea is a recognised Victorian resort with tourism and recreation still being a major economic driver for the town’.
However, in his report to the committee, the planning officer concludes that it ‘would compromise the open landscape character of the site, would result in the substantial loss to built development of an existing landscape buffer between the town of Newbiggin and the Sandy Bay Holiday Park and would appear as visually intrusive in the landscape, particularly in terms of views from nearby public rights of way’.
‘Overall this would result in significant landscape and visual harm to the locality,’ it adds.
As well as Park Dean Resorts’ Sandy Bay to the south, the site, which is currently in use as arable land as part of the applicant’s (Mr M Clippingdale) farming enterprise, also borders the scheme for 63 homes and 16 chalets at Links Quarry, which has outline approval and for which the reserved matters application was recently submitted.