CONCERNS have been raised over the creation of a “bedsit land” at a historic riverside area in South Tyneside.
Planning permission was granted late last year for the conversion of the former Music Maker shop premises on the Mill Dam in South Shields.
The proposals involve the provision of 10 single bedsits and a communal bathroom and kitchen on the first floor, with room for a retail outlet on the ground floor.
The terrace of properties on the Mill Dam includes three public houses – The Steamboat, Frontiers (formerly The Waterfront) and The Riverside, which is now closed after its last tenant vacated the building earlier this month.
But Joe Mooney, landlord at The Steamboat, is worried the bedsits for rent will “change the whole chemistry of the area”.
Mr Mooney said: “The building had stood empty for a number of years, and it was bought by this guy last year and these proposals submitted.
“There’s going to be 10 bedrooms – that’s an awful lot for the space there. I just wonder who is going to want to live there? I objected to the application.
“It has never been residential here in the past, and my concern is these bedsits will change the whole chemistry of the area.
“I know planning permission has been granted now, but it does raise real issues for the riverside.”
Saad Albodier, who works for Albos Associates, which designed the plans for the bedsits, said: “The application was submitted to the council’s planning committee and planning permission was granted.
“It met all the necessary criteria. I have spoken to the property owner, and he has confirmed that the works will be completed within six months.”