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Village set for crucial hearing.

Byline: By Dave Black

Families in a seaside village have been given the dates for a key public inquiry which will decide whether their tiny community should face an influx of more holiday caravans.

Campaigners in 88-home Cresswell near Druridge Bay were jubilant in January when councillors rejected a pounds 3.5m bid to add 350 caravans to the hamlet's Golden Sands park.

But site owner Northumbrian Leisure appealed and yesterday it was revealed that a public inquiry will be held at Lynemouth Resource Centre on February 20 and 21.

Locals say they are already swamped by the village's two large holiday camps ( Golden Sands and Cresswell Towers ( which between them have more than 700 caravans.

Campaigners fear an increase in traffic, noise, disturbance, litter and effects on the local environment and wildlife. Retired technical director Dr Phil Kirkwood of The Old School House, Cresswell, at the forefront of protests, said yesterday villagers had already sent comprehensive submissions to the Planning Inspectorate.

"We will probably appoint certain people to act as spokesmen for us," he said.

"This whole business of caravans has gone on for long enough and the village has lived under a threat of something like this for years. We want to see it brought to an end and allow us to get on with the rest of our lives."

Northumbrian Leisure's plans include creating 30 jobs and developing a major new leisure facility at Golden Sands. It says its scheme offers many benefits.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Sep 7, 2006
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