Proposed expansion of Northumberland coast campsite opposed by local councillors

Local councillors have objected to plans for the expansion of a camping and caravanning site on the Northumberland coast.

Monday, 18th January 2021, 7:00 am

The application for the Beadnell Bay site seeks planning permission for an extension on neighbouring fields to the west to create a further 63 hard-standing pitches.

However, Beadnell Parish Council has claimed the size of the proposal would result in a detrimental impact on the local community and landscape.

Cllr John Rhind said: “When you approach Beadnell from the west you are increasingly looking at a carpet of caravans and mobile homes and I think that is something to be resisted.

The Beadnell Bay campsite.

"For its size, compared to other coastal communities with the exception perhaps of Seahouses, I think Beadnell has done all the heavy lifting when it comes to the provision of this type of accommodation.”

Cllr Jen Hall agreed: "It would increase the number of tourists in the area in high season when the area is already unable to cope.

"It does nothing to improve the sustainability of the area, being open only Easter to October when what we actually need are businesses open from November until March.

"Beadnell has found itself at the end of a tourism cul-de-sac and I don’t think it can take any more."

Cllr Adrian Baker called for a county-level assessment of tourism on the Northumberland coast.

He said: "Tourists are required but we’ve got to manage it because it was completely out of control last summer and adding another 63 pitches is just going to exacerbate the problem.”

Cllr Corrina Scott-Roy supported an expansion of the site and felt it was important to support the growth of local businesses but acknowledged concerns about the application and hoped there could be room to manoeuvre.

She said: “There is a willingness from the applicant to talk to us so maybe there is room for negotiation. It’s an ideal opportunity to add some community benefits so I don’t want this to be an outright ‘no’.”

Local resident Christine Williamson said the application was contrary to the Neighbourhood Plan which would only permit small-scale developments.

She said: "After the summer we had last year when the area was swamped with tourists, I can understand that Northumberland County Council liking this application as a solution to some of their problems of where to put visitors but Beadnell is already saturated with camping and caravanning pitches.

"We have 662 houses in the village and, at the height of the summer, around 711 pitches within or close to the village. Another 63 will take the total to 774, creating an unacceptable impact on our local community and local landscape.”

The plans have been submitted on behalf of Lindisfarne Homes Limited SSAS, which own the land operated by the Camping & Caravanning Club.

A letter from the applicant’s agent stated: ‘The proposals seek to provide a relatively modest expansion of the existing site and although the overall site area is in the region of two hectares, the development land is substantially less so as to maintain the open character of the site and provide well spaced out pitches.

‘The impact of the development on the landscape will be far outweighed by the benefits and help to give local businesses a fighting chance of survival when coming out of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.”

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