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pounds 15m `caravan village' planned.

Byline: By Dave Black

Plans were unveiled yesterday for a new pounds 15m holiday village on the Northumberland coastline, which aims to create up to 120 jobs and provide a further boost for the county's tourist industry.

Holiday firm Northumbrian Leisure is seeking the green light for a major expansion of its award-winning, 250-caravan Golden Sands park in the tiny village of Cresswell near Druridge Bay.

The proposed first phase of the project - which will include new shops, a swimming pool and sports and leisure facilities - envisages an additional 300 static caravans.

But it is understood that hundreds more caravans could follow, along with more permanent holiday accommodation in 190 acres of landscaped grounds between the villages of Cresswell, Ellington and Lynemouth.

Yesterday, Northumbrian Leisure said the development will provide a boost for the local economy and tourism and help replace local jobs lost in mining and farming.

The company says the holiday village will create up to 120 jobs for catering, maintenance and reception staff, pool attendants, cleaners and gardeners.

It is submitting a planning application to Castle Morpeth Borough Council and says the village will develop in phases over several years on the 570-acre Cresswell Hall Estate.

Last night the plans were given a generally positive welcome in 200-population Cresswell, which already has more than 600 holiday caravans at the neighbouring Golden Sands and Cresswell Towers parks.

Parish council chairman Tom Cowan, who lives in the village, said: "They are talking about creating 120 jobs and that has to be a very big thing in an area which needs more employment.

"The new park will be away from the village and screened from the beach, so I believe it will be a good thing.

"As long as it doesn't cause traffic problems or disturb the peace and quiet of the place I feel it will be welcomed."

Brenda Laing, who runs the village's only shop, Cresswell Ices, said: "In terms of business, employment and the economy this sounds as though it will have advantages for the area, but I feel the borough council will have to look at it very carefully."

Northumbrian Leisure Ltd managing director Nigel Thompson, who lives in Cresswell and whose company took over the Golden Sands park in 1991, said the new swimming pool and sports pitches would be open to local people.

"We have seen jobs disappear in mining and farming and I know the new jobs will be very welcome in the local community."
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Aug 5, 2003
Words:412
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