NON-UK CITIZENS ONLY
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We request that Northumberland County Council (NCC) withdraws the sale of land (approximately half of Green Lane car park, at the edge of Holy Island village) as a development plot.
The land lies outside the current perimeter of Holy Island village, is in a conservation area and The Northumberland Coast AONB. This sale should be withdrawn and a full assessment should be made of its potential impact on:
- The environment
- How parking can be maintained for coaches and Blue Badge holders
- Tourism in Northumberland
- The local economy
Please sign the petition and help stop the sale of this land for development in this special place!
Why is this important?
Holy Island is a special place: In his book "Lindisfarne", Magnus Magnusson calls this "The Cradle Island". He describes the village as "a close cluster of sensible homes hugging themselves against the wind" and observes that "The islanders know what is best for the island; they cherish its insularity, its integrity, not jealously but carefully". He describes the visitor' experience; "Journeying to Lindisfarne is to make pilgrimage, a voyage of discovery: discovering an island of astonishing charm and endless variety ... Above all for some it's a place where you discover yourself".
This conservation area lies within the Northumberland Coast AONB, a designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest, a National Nature Reserve, and a European Special Protection Area.
View NCCs Core Strategy (amended 2016) Policy 31.
"In plan making and when assessing development proposals in and around the AONB particular considerations will include the:
d. Need to sustain and, where appropriate, enhance:
ii. A sense of remoteness, wildness and open views
iii. A clear distinction between settlements and open countryside."
Clearly the sale of this land for development by NCC contravenes their own Core Strategy and commitment to protect the AONB. The land for sale is outside the current perimeter of the village. Development here could only blur the distinction between the village and the open countryside, and would not sustain the sense of remoteness, wildness and open views that can currently be felt. This development would set a precedent for further development outside the village. Where would this end?
Planning rules to date have protected Holy Island from the ravages of inappropriate development. This small village is vulnerable. It needs continued protection! We don't want this special place to be spoiled for short term financial gain! If lost to developers, the special nature of this village could be gone forever!
All the land at Green Lane Car Park is desperately needed.
Well over half a million people visit Holy Island each year, locally and from across the world. Tourism is vital to the economy of Northumberland, and Holy Island is a major tourist attraction in the area. Sufficient disabled parking near to the village is essential for inclusivity of access and for coaches to park or to use the car park as a drop off, enough turning space is required.
Half of this land was farmland, purchased by NCC to fulfil parking needs. How can this sale now be justified? With the increasing number of visitors that come here the car parks are regularly full to overflowing. Will NCC purchase more farmland for parking, thereby further encroaching on the open countryside? The sale of this land should be withdrawn and a full consultation and impact assesment should be made between Northumberland County Council, Holy Island Parish Council, and all interested parties.
A meeting of the village community was held in the village hall and the consensus of opinion was that there is no need or justification for newbuild on this land. 98% of village residents have already signed a petition objecting to this land sale. This will be presented to NCC, and the local press will be alerted. Watch this space for updates!
We now ask all friends of Holy Island to sign our online petition and help stop the sale of this land and protect this special place. Personal letters, with individual reasons for objecting to the sale of this land, would also be very effective and should be addressed to the leader of Northumberland County Council Grant Davey, and/or the Chief Executive Steven Mason. The selling agent is now asking for 'expressions of interest' and will be inviting 'offer' in mid April. We must act quickly!
If you can offer further information or any help, please contact:
Revd Paul Collins, vicar of Holy Island email:
John Bevan, Clerk to Holy Island Parish Council: