Putting a cap on costs

PLANS for a new spring water bottling plant in Hartburn have been given the go-ahead.

Elizabeth Walton and her nephew Joe Evans run Marlish Water, at West Marlish Farm, but have been sending the water to Sunderland to be bottled.

But now they will be able to reduce their costs by having the liquid bottled at its source, thanks to approval by Northumberland County Council’s North Area Planning Committee.

Letters of objection to the plans were received but the application was recommended for approval by planning officers.

Speaking at the meeting, Mr Evans said the development would be his ‘livelihood for the next 30-odd years’ and added that it would allow the farm, which was wiped out by foot-and-mouth, to diversify.

Coun Glen Sanderson, who represents the area, gave his back to the plans and spoke in support of them.

He said: “This is something which I believe you would be worthwhile supporting.

“We should be applauding this business set-up.

“I believe it would be a wonderful accolade for this county to have its own bottled water, it would grace visitors’ coffee tables, and dare I say it even the tables of the planning committee one day.”

Concerns were raised about the effect a spring bottling plant would have on the peace and tranquility of the area. However planning officers attached a list of conditions to the approval which should alleviate these.

Other conditions are also attached which will limit expansion of the business without a further approval of planning applications, which will help to maintain amenity levels, and give the council chance to assess the area further.