Anger over plans for over-55s housing complex in South Shields

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HOuseholdERS claim plans for a new four-storey apartment block on their doorstep in South Tyneside will deprive them of their right to light.

Planning permission is being sought to demolish garages at Lady’s Walk in South Shields, beside River Drive, to make way for an apartment complex for people over the age of 55.

The 52 affordable rental homes proposed by South Tyneside Housing Ventures, a charity founded by council chiefs, and Galliford Try Partnerships North, all offering two bedrooms, would be accompanied by a 36-space car park.

Their plans have raised the hackles of people living near to the proposed development in Claypit Close, however.

They say the apartment block would result in a reduction in daylight for their homes, overshadowing of properties, an increase in traffic and a loss of privacy.

Residents believe the building will “engulf and dwarf” their properties.

A spokesman for the objectors said: “The scale and massing of the development is inappropriate in its relationship to the houses in Claypit Close as rear gardens and windows face the proposed building. The development should front onto River Drive.

“The height of the proposed building will engulf and dwarf the houses creating a tunnel effect and result in loss of sunlight to the gardens, impacting on quality of life and ability to enjoy outside space in the summer months.”

This week, members of South Tyneside Council’s planning committee were recommended to agree the application, despite the protesters’ concerns.

In the event, the application was deferred to enable the applicants to come forward with additional information before a decision is made.

A report to the committee recommended approval, saying: “The scheme has been amended to further reduce the impact of the shadowing, including the repositioning of the building towards the south by approximately 3m, rotating the building anti-clockwise and amending the roof design at the corner opposite Claypit Close to achieve a 2m reduction in the roof height.

“The impact of the development on the properties in Claypit Close in terms of overshadowing is limited to the winter months later in the afternoon, when the sun is in the west and lower in the sky.

“From October to February, there will be a small amount of additional shadowing across the rear elevations and the gardens of the properties in Claypit Close after 3pm.

“During the rest of the year, the resulting shadowing occurs after 4pm in March and April and September and October and later during the summer, but the shadow moves across the properties with the path of the sun and does not affect all the properties all the time.”

The residents’ spokesman responded, adding: “The minor changes do not address the concerns of the residents in Claypit Close. The increase in vehicle noise, disturbance, privacy and outlook will have a detrimental effect on residents at 7 to 19 Claypit Close, whose gardens face the road.”

Twitter: @shieldsgazpaul