Shipping containers café plan for Northumberland village withdrawn in the face of strong opposition

Plans for a new café and bar in Bamburgh which attracted dozens of objections have been withdrawn.
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BOX Restaurant Group had applied for permission to put three shipping containers with pergola, pods and a viewing platform within the village's walled garden.

However, the application has been withdrawn after planners at Northumberland County Council advised it would be refused.

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The council’s enforcement team has now been notified with a view to getting the shipping containers removed.

The shipping containers just visible in Bamburgh's walled garden.The shipping containers just visible in Bamburgh's walled garden.
The shipping containers just visible in Bamburgh's walled garden.

The news was delivered to Bamburgh Parish Council by local county councillor Guy Renner-Thompson.

Cllr Barbara Brook, parish council chairman, said: “We can’t put a timescale on it but let’s hope it’s sooner rather than later.”

Vice chairman Andy Bardgett hoped enforcement officers would be able to take swift action.

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“We could point out the huge number of objections there were to this to perhaps expedite the enforcements,” he said.

"It’s not just the containers, it’s all the other structures that are in there.”

The Newcastle-based company, which specialises in creating social spaces from shipping containers and other recycled materials, has been looking to expand into areas where there is a demand.

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However, director David Kunzer admitted at a parish council planning meeting in June that the retrospective nature of the application had been a mistake.

“We had hoped if we went down the retrospective route, starting the construction, it would have been ready for the 2020 season,” he said at the time. “Unfortunately with Covid-19 that hasn’t been possible.

“With hindsight we put our hands up and say it was the wrong route to go down.”

The application attracted more than 30 letters of objection from local residents and businesses with concerns about noise, smell and parking issues.

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A petition opposing the scheme was also been signed by over 70 residents.

Local resident Judy Cowen has suggested a dementia garden could now be created on the site. This will be discussed at the next meeting on December 8.

The Northumberland Gazette has been unable to contact BOX Restaurant Group for a comment.

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