Will second bid for new house on Northumberland coast go same way as first?

The junction of the access track and Dunstanburgh Road. Picture from Google
The junction of the access track and Dunstanburgh Road. Picture from Google

A second attempt for a new home in a north Northumberland coastal village, which was narrowly refused in the summer, is still considered unacceptable.

The first application for a house in Craster was turned down on the grounds of road-safety and its impact on the area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB), although some councillors were not convinced it should be.

It was rejected at July’s meeting of the North Northumberland Local Area Council by five votes to four, in line with the planning officer’s recommendation.

The proposal is for a single-storey property, on land west of 15 Dunstanburgh Road, which would use the sloping site to incorporate a split-level, open-plan internal arrangement.

A report to Thursday’s (December 20) meeting of the local area council explains that there have been several changes, including a lower overall height, lower roof pitch and the removal of the gabion basket support structures as well as changing the feature windows upon the front and rear elevations from uPVC to coated aluminium and the green, composite external cladding to darker, natural timber.

Nonetheless, the AONB partnership and Craster Parish Council have maintained their objections and planners say the latest bid should be refused for the same reasons as before.

In a report, the highways officer described the access as ‘a narrow, poorly constructed track’, while the junction with Dunstanburgh Road ‘is also narrow, little more than single vehicle width, and severely restricted in terms of visibility for emerging drivers’.

But having been told at the July meeting that the site was currently used for parking, some councillors felt that, if anything, approving the home would improve the situation.

However, planners explained that this parking use was informal and the access track is also unadopted so the county council has no control over this one way or the other.

Two residents outlined the risks and limitations of this lane as well as how busy and well-used Dunstanburgh Road is by pedestrians, but the applicant’s transport consultant questioned whether a single dwelling would have a severe impact – the test in the Government’s planning framework.

Ben O'Connell, Local Democracy Reporting Service