PLANS to build homes beside a picturesque Northumberland harbour have been thrown out.
An application by Beadnell Fishermen’s Society for three homes in the village were rejected by Northumberland County Council.
The 18th-Century harbour was gifted to local fishing families by Sir John Craster in 1951 and is within an area of outstanding natural beauty.
The fishermen were seeking to build houses on land beside the harbour in order to generate the money they need to fund the upkeep of the structure, and dredging.
They proposed three homes at The Haven and one at White Rock, although one of the three was later removed from the scheme.
However, the plans angered residents, who formed petitions signed by 2,662 people and set up the Save Beadnell Association, and Beadnell Parish Council. Forty-six letters of objection were sent to the county council in relation to the White Rock scheme, and 57 on the proposals for The Haven.
Objectors claimed the development would harm the area’s heritage and character, and the association said it had offered to buy the harbour from the fishermen and to pay to maintain it.
Applications for planning permission, and listed building consent for the properties at The Haven, went before the council’s North area planning committee.
Members were recommended to grant approval, on the basis that the scheme would ‘help to secure the future upkeep of Beadnell harbour and associated heritage assets for the long term’.
However, at a meeting of the council chamber, in Alnwick , attended by scores of objectors, councillors voted to reject all three applications.
Jim Norris of the Save Beadnell Association said: “It is a wonderful decision for the whole village of Beadnell. It is a marvellous decision for the coastline, for the heritage, for the history and it is a marvellous decision for the actual harbour. It is a victory for everyone who loves and appreciates Beadnell.”
Mr Norris said the association will now be offering “the hand of friendship” to the fishermen’s society, in the hope that the two bodies can form a community group which will work on other ways to fund the upkeep of the harbour.
John Wall, secretary of the society, said it would be resubmitting the application in its present form.
He said: “We have to do something to look after the harbour, we have to secure its future. Really, is another three houses at Beadnell going to spoil our heritage? Not at all.
“Would losing the harbour at Beadnell destroy our heritage? Yes it would. We are very disappointed. We do not think we got a fair hearing.”