Fresh plans for three units in a single block at the Signal Cottage site, on the seafront to the south of the town, were lodged before Christmas.
And a majority of members of the North Northumberland Local Area Council felt that the latest design was acceptable – particularly following the recent removal of a central viewing column – at their meeting last Thursday (March 21).
The latest proposals, supported by eight votes to two, had been completely redesigned from a previous scheme, also for three dwellings, which was unanimously refused – against the advice of planners – at last April’s meeting of the committee, due to concerns over the visual impact of the building in terms of height, design and massing.
This plan was itself an amended bid after initial proposals for a three-storey building containing one private house and three duplex holiday lets, first submitted towards the end of 2016, were withdrawn.
Amble’s Coun Terry Clark moved approval, saying he believed that the latest design would mean that the building would not be obtrusive in the landscape.
Coun Gordon Castle agreed: “Last time I did object, as a subjective view on the design. I didn’t think we had got there, but I think we have now. It’s a sensitive site, I accept that, but on balance I’m okay with it.”
But Coun Georgina Hill was not of the same opinion at all. “I don’t have a problem with modern buildings, but I think that design is god-awful and I still think it’s over-development of that site,” she said.
The meeting had earlier heard from an objector, who described it as ‘a gross over-development of a fragile site’.
“It’s a business venture veiled as residential development; we should be under no illusions, they will be holiday lets,” she added, but the applicant’s agent Nicola Allen warned the councillors about ‘speculation from objectors’.
She said that the application is not for holiday lets and the applicants are not ‘greedy property developers’ but a family from Newcastle, who want to make themselves a home.
Addressing the design, she added: “Yes, it’s modern, but it takes inspiration from coastal architecture.”
Ben O'Connell, Local Democracy Reporting Service