Scaled-back plans to expand Northumberland's The Drift Cafe at Druridge Bay set for approval

Scaled-back plans to expand a popular café at a Northumberland coastal beauty spot look set to get the green light next week.

By Ben O'Connell
Tuesday, 2nd February 2021, 2:25 pm

A bid for four holiday chalets and a food takeaway unit on land to the south-east of The Drift Café, on Druridge Bay just north of Cresswell, are recommended for approval at the Monday, February 8, meeting of the Castle Morpeth Local Area Council.

The development would also feature a large wildlife area, through the creation of a pond and extensive tree planting at the south-eastern end.

Two parking spaces would be provided for each chalet along with three staff bays, while customers of the proposed takeaway unit would use the existing car park which provides parking for 42 vehicles.

The Drift Cafe in Cresswell

The application to Northumberland County Council says that the development is ‘to cater for the expansion of this family-run business and provide suitable amenities in the Cresswell area’.

There has been a mixture of responses, with 17 objections raising concerns such as highway safety, over-development, development in the open countryside, impacts on visual amenity and character, light pollution and ecological issues.

There were also four letters of support, recognising the need for additional holiday accommodation and the employment opportunities that would be created, while a further four representations recognised the benefits the Drift Café provides to the area, but also raised concerns regarding how an increase in commercial activity would impact on the area.

When the scheme was first submitted in January 2020, owner Duncan Lawrence was seeking planning permission for a new 375 sq m restaurant building, expanded and new outdoor seating areas, six two-bedroom detached holiday chalets and four one-bedroom bed and breakfast chalets.

The report to councillors explained that the proposals were amended in November 2020 following initial comments from planning officers.

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