Foreshore plans come under scrutiny

A VISION of the future for South Shields foreshore will come under the microscope at one of South Tyneside Council's most influential committees today.

Members of the council's regeneration and resources scrutiny committee will be questioning businesses, partners, heritage, sporting and residents groups with an interest in the foreshore.

Committee chairman Coun Ed Malcolm said: "South Shields Foreshore is recognised as a precious asset for the borough and a vital part of both our heritage and our future.

"Maximising its potential, while preserving its natural beauty, is one of our top priorities.

"By thoroughly questioning and listening to the key partners and groups involved, this scrutiny committee will be able to prepare a detailed report for consideration by the council's cabinet.

"We hope to be able to question representatives from Nova International, Tavistock Leisure, the Gypsies Green Action Group, Caer Urfa Heritage Association, the Foreshore Steering Group and the Harriers and Football Associations who use the Dragon pitches and changing rooms."

The report to the scrutiny committee states: "The foreshore is the jewel in the borough's crown and attracts many local visitors.

"Feeding the ducks in the South Marine Park and visiting the fair is a rite of passage for the majority of young South Tynesiders, the seaside is on the doorstep.

"The Cookson Festival is a massive attraction every year and during the summer, tourists flock to the beautiful parks, Arbeia Roman Fort and the sandy beaches and to enjoy our cultural offer."

It highlights the key projects as the Gypsies Green hotel development, plans to refurbish the Dragon Football Pitches and changing rooms, modernisation and development of Sandhaven and Lizard Lane sites by private developers, and proposals for a permanent stage in Bents Park.

It also features a 5m restoration of South Marine Park, a possible indoor swimming pool on Pier Parade, and improved visitor facilities at Arbeia Roman Fort.