Outrage on the island

While respecting your right to edit items, the manner in which it was done to the article submitted on behalf of our council regarding the sale of land at Green Lane meant some points were omitted and the emphasis of others lost, in particular the deep anger and outrage felt by an island community, which is united in its total opposition to the development of this site, (Berwick Advertiser, March 9).

Friday, 24th March 2017, 8:00 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:00 am

May I briefly clarify our concerns, starting with the staggering failure by Northumberland County Council even to pay lip service to the democratic process. There has been no effort by the county council to consult residents directly or through elected representatives, merely emails advising that the sale is taking place.

Northumberland County Council maintains that the revised layout will be adequate to meet the current parking requirements for coaches and blue badge holders, but produces no verifiable figures to support this. Based on our observations of the car park, we fundamentally disagree, even before considering how increased demand in the future will be met.

The suggested allowable developments – a hotel, café or speculative housing – are completely at variance with the planning policy in force on the island for many years, a policy the county council has applied rigidly to existing landowners, including The Holy Island of Lindisfarne Community Development Trust, a charity seeking to build low-cost housing for young island families. How can such a hypocritical approach be justified?

When 55 per cent of residential houses are already second homes or holiday lets, and are under occupied for five or six months of the year, how can a probable increase in their numbers be an acceptable planning decision? If allowed, how would it be possible to refuse similar applications in the future in such a sensitive area?

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The decision by Northumberland County Council apparently gives no thought to the future and the inevitable growth of tourism, vital to the economy of the area, and seems to wish to make a short-term gain of no benefit to Holy Island, sacrificing the needs, wishes and wellbeing of our community, whose anger should not be underestimated.

It must be reversed.

For a fuller version of our concerns visit the public notices section of the parish council page of the Holy Island of Lindisfarne website.

John Bevan

Clerk to Holy Island Parish Council