This was never about farming

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THE recent correspondence in the Gazette concerning the Dunstan Steads Planning application suggests that the public outcry was against farming activity.

Nothing could be furthest from the truth.

The planning application was originally for a very large house and associated outbuildings suitable for conversion on an iconic escarpment overlooking Embleton Bay within an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB).

Such a development on a greenfield site in an AONB is expressly forbidden under the planning policy statement five (PPS5), as are new retirement homes for farmers.

On the advice of the Alnwick planning department the application was withdrawn and was followed by a long period of ‘coaching’ by the planning office as to how the application could be rendered acceptable within the constraints of PPS5.

The solution of course involved livestock requiring accommodation to prove on site animal welfare. The application was re submitted and approved at this month’s planning committee.

Emboldened by this success the applicant will no doubt return to his original submission for a large house with a associated outbuildings on the iconic escarpment overlooking Embleton Bay in an AONB and with the proven apathy of the local AONB officer, Wildlife Trust and multiple agencies charged with the custodianship of our precious environment, if falls to the much derided public protest to provide that protection which we intend to do.

T Robson