Victory for residents as caravan facility rejected at appeal

A planning inspector has dismissed an appeal over a refused caravan storage facility in Cramlington, which was vigorously opposed by nearby residents.

Tuesday, 30th October 2018, 1:05 pm
Updated Wednesday, 31st October 2018, 3:00 am
The site of the proposed caravan storage facility between the B1505 and A189. Picture from Google

Monday’s decision to reject the appeal follows a hearing in September at which locals made clear their feelings against the development, which would have housed around 365 caravans, although the maximum limit would be 755.

Northumberland County Council’s planning officers had recommended approval on both occasions that the scheme went before councillors for a decision, but planning inspector Andrea Mageean decided that ‘the proposal would cause harm to the character and appearance of the area’.

Coun Allan Hepple, ward member for Cramlington South East, said: “This is fantastic news which is down to all of the efforts to oppose it from residents from the very beginning.”

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In September last year, the Cramlington, Bedlington and Seaton Valley Local Area Council first refused a scheme for the one-hectare site between the A189 and B1505, due to the potential severe impacts on the road network, including the Moor Farm roundabout, and that it would be over-development.

Then, in July this year, the committee rejected the plans for a second time for the same reasons despite representatives of the applicant, Michael Burke, having carried out further work on the impact on the road network and neither the council’s highways department nor Highways England raising objections.

This meant that the county council did not defend this reason for refusal at the appeal and Ms Mageean concluded that the development ‘would not have a harmful effect on traffic levels or highway safety’.

She also found that the ‘scheme would have some modest benefits to both the local economy and the environment’, but that ‘they do not outweigh the harm I have found in relation to the main issue’.

Coun Hepple added: “This has been a long and tortuous process over almost the last two years to oppose it.

“As the inspector’s decision is final, this in my view brings to an end any attempt to create a caravan park on this site.

“I’m so pleased all our efforts have not been in vain and common sense has prevailed.”

Ben O'Connell, Local Democracy Reporting Service