Call for action over '˜eyesore' hotel redevelopment site in South Shields after work comes to halt

Green Party activists are calling for the council to intervene over a building labelled 'an eyesore' in South Shields town centre.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 07 January, 2019, 05:00
David Francis and the building in question

The property - on the corner of Lawe Road and Ocean Road - has been under development since 2017 in a plan to turn the building into a 43-room hotel.

But concerns have been raised by nearby residents with South Tyneside Green Party representative David Francis over its future. Part of the building was demolished, but has now stood unchanged for over a year.

Mr Francis is now calling on the council to take action under the town and country planning act 1990 - which gives local authorities the power to serve a completion notice.

This gives the developer one year to finish the work or lose permission to do so.

The council can also use this act to give the owner a short period of time to sort out the site, on the grounds that it is harming the amenity of the area.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

He said: “Aside from the impact on local people, this property will be seen by huge numbers of visitors to the town. This eyesore gives a terrible impression of our area and could have a negative impact on the local economy. “There are powers the council can use and I would urge them to do so, for the benefit of residents, business owners and visitors alike.”

Coun John Anglin, lead member for regeneration and economy, said: “Although the council has powers to serve a completion notice, these are not straightforward. They need confirmation from the Secretary of State and do not always achieve the desired outcome. For these reasons, they are rarely used by local authorities.

“Planning permission to convert the building into a 43-room hotel was granted in 2017 and work started on site. It is our understanding from discussions with the developer, his intention is still to complete the development.

“When complete, this project will complement the council’s own regeneration work across the town centre and foreshore area and provide a welcome addition to the town’s tourism offer.”