Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Parking Row for New B&B; Former Resident's Plan to Help Town Hit by Opposition

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Parking Row for New B&B; Former Resident's Plan to Help Town Hit by Opposition

Article excerpt

Byline: Dave Black? 07884 117069 ? dave.black@ncjmedia.co.uk

WHEN hotelier Jane Heap moved back to her North East home town, she was keen to help efforts to attract more visitors and revive its economic fortunes. After running hotels in the Lake District for many years, she felt she was an ideal person to assist in multi-million-pound regeneration plans for Newbiggin-by- the-Sea, Northumberland.

Mrs Heap, 58, and her husband Malcolm, 60, bought a house in the town where she was born and bred, and opened a two-bedroom bed and breakfast business there in March.

Now, because of opposition from a neighbouring guesthouse and planning demands made by council officials, their venture could be sunk before it has barely got off the ground.

A lack of parking provision outside the couple's home, in Front Street, means their application for its change of use to a B&B is being recommended for refusal by council officials.

Kathy Mills, owner of the adjacent Captain's Lodge guesthouse, has submitted a 16-name petition, objecting on the grounds that the new B&B will worsen existing parking and congestion problems in the narrow lane between the properties.

Mrs Heap, who moved away from Newbiggin when she was 17 but still has family in the town, fears the hurdles being placed in her way means the fledgling business will have to close.

"I have heard a lot about the regeneration of Newbiggin, and how they want to bring more people to the beach and town, and wanted to be part of that by opening this small B&B. I'm an experienced hotelier and feel we can attract more people here.

"I didn't think we would have to provide on-site parking for just two bedrooms, because there are small B&Bs dotted all over the place that don't have their own parking.

"We make it clear to guests that we don't have on-site parking and tell them they have to find public parking elsewhere. …

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