RESIDENTS in South Tyneside have given a lukewarm welcome to a £2.6m flood prevention scheme.
The scheme, by Northumbrian Water, will upgrade the sewer system in the Ocean Road area of South Shields and create a new underground stormwater tank in North Marine Park.
It is hoped this will prevent a repeat of last year’s flooding in Ocean Road, which hit many restaurants and shops.
Residents in Lawe Road were shocked to receive a letter last week informing them they will be unable to park outside their homes between 8am and 5pm, Monday to Friday while the work is done.
An open meeting was hosted by South Tyneside Council at Ocean Road Community Centre on Saturday to address their issues.
Lawe Road resident Kerry Shaw, 38, said she had concerns over potential parking issues outside her home.
She said: “It was quite a positive meeting. We’ve looked at various issues and chatted about possible solutions so I am remaining hopeful.
Neighbour Geoff Hackett is keen to stress that none of the residents are opposed to the scheme.
He said: “We all agree this scheme is a good thing, in fact it’s well overdue.
“But we do have issues about where we can park our cars during the day, and that needs to be sorted.
“I’ve spoken with council officials today, and they said they will get back to me with answers on Wednesday so I will reserve any judgement until then.”
The work is expected to start later this month. A tank will be built under the park and this will be large enough to hold three million litres of water.
A new sewer on the adjoining Shortridge Street will connect existing sewers in Dale Street and Ocean Road to the new storage tank.
Water from the tank will then flow, under control, into the sewer in Sea Road.
Beacon and Bents ward councillor John Wood, who also attended the open meeting, added: “During this consultation to discuss period we want to meet with residents to show the plans and discuss what’s going to be happening.
“It’s gone very well so far, issues have been raised about problems such as parking, but everyone has been very cordial and hopefully we can resolve some of the issues they have brought forward.”