Budle Bay eco-tents plan gets green light

Budle Bay campsite

Budle Bay campsite

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Planning permission has been granted for a number of eco-tents built at Budle Bay Caravan Park, near Bamburgh, without the required consent.

Eight eco-tents were constructed in spring 2012 but the owners did not get planning permission. They have now been given the green light to add another seven.

Peter Horne, the applicant’s agent, said: “They were originally built in the belief that they were in fact tents and therefore did not need planning permission.”

The eco-tents have helped the campsite cope with the vagaries of the British weather.

“There is no doubt that the extra income generated by having the eco-tents has helped the site financially,” said Mr Horne.

An unexpected benefit has also been attracting new client groups such as single parents, young adults with learning difficulties and their helpers.

The ease of use, the relative low cost of staying in them, the weather protection they afford and the feeling of still camping, have encouraged new groups as well as others to visit the campsite.

Permission has also been granted for a single storey wooden building to allow the wardens to stay on site all year round. The new owners lives miles away and employ site wardens to manage the campsite.

“Obviously for business, health and safety reasons, wardens need to be on site 24 hours a day during the open season,” said Mr Horne.

“However, due to the rural location of the campsite, the increase in...flooding, the ease with which the river blocks with debris and the vulnerability of the site to criminal activity, the presence of wardens on site all year round has now become imperative.”

Three objections were made with concerns about the potential for users of the proposed huts to trespass on neighbouring property, the potential for residential occupancy of the campsite, potential flooding and the standard of on-site amenities.

However, Northumberland County Council officers approved the plans under delegated powers.

Tony Lowe, senior planning officer, said: “The proposal is not considered to have any adverse impact on the AONB or residential amenity any greater than that which already exists.

“It has been examined by the Environment Agency and the Highway Authority, neither of which has raised any objection.

“The proposal will not add to the number of pitches available at the site and the existing emergency warning and evacuation procedure is considered to be acceptable at the site.”

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