An application for six new tourism units plus access, parking and amenity space on land at North Farm, Embleton, is recommended for refusal at the Thursday, February 18, meeting of the North Northumberland Local Area Council.
The proposed single-storey, two-bedroom units would be sited immediately to the north of North Farm on an area of mown grass pasture with the existing holiday complex and farmhouse to the south and two former farm cottages to the north.
The applicant, Mr R Manners, has said that he would be willing to enter into a legal agreement to quash an existing extant permission on a separate part of the site for nine caravans if this application were to be approved.
The whole complex is around 500 metres to the north of Embleton and therefore comfortably outside the settlement boundary as well as being within the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Beauty (AONB).
Both the AONB partnership and parish council have objected, with concerns that the scheme ‘would effectively create a mini-settlement in an unsustainable position well outside the settlement boundary’ and ‘would also impact on the open character of the countryside’.
Just one resident has objected, against 29 letters of support, although 27 of these are signed copies of a proforma letter, highlighting the direct and indirect economic benefits of the proposal.
The planning officer’s report to councillors concludes: ‘It is acknowledged that the proposal will bring benefits for the visitor economy that include the potential to sustain an existing business and to add accommodation along a popular tourist route, however, the site is located in the AONB and open countryside and it is not considered that these benefits are sufficient to outweigh the harm caused by the proposed development.’
The suggested reasons for refusal include the impact on the AONB – ‘by virtue of its scale, form and positioning, the proposed development would have a detrimental impact’ – and the general visual impact – ‘by virtue of its location and setting, it would erode the rural character of the site and its surroundings’.