Council's Â£200m development plan for South Shields receives mixed response
South Tyneside Council's plans for a new Â£200million housing, business and leisure development have been met with a lukewarm response.
The Gazette revealed yesterday that an area of land running along Commercial Road, in South Shields, had been earmarked for the development.
The council is looking for a private partner to deliver what is describes as high-quality office accommodation, residential and mixed-use development.
However, many Gazette readers have questioned whether the council should be pursuing the project.
On Facebook, David A Turnbull posted: “Where is this cash-strapped council going to get £200million from for regeneration work?”
Michelle Kinsey added: “Funny how the council are pulling funding on community centres and services because they ‘can’t afford it’, but can pull out £200million for regeneration.”
Dawn Whelan said: “Why build more office space? Is Garland’s still standing empty?”
Ian Rylance posted: “Garlands is getting turned into flats.
“The council is looking for investors to build their dream riverside.
“In the meantime, they’ll waste a fortune on drawings and models of how they would like it to look.”
Some readers pointed to other areas of South Shields as needing more immediate attention.
Leanne Jay posted: “They need to concentrate on filling the town centre with decent shops.
“Its awful now. I did the majority of my Christmas shopping elsewhere because there’s just not much choice anymore.”
Should the plan come to fruition, housing would be built on land bordered by Laygate and Laygate Street, while land for office accommodation would take in Hill Street, Nile Street, Cone Street and East Holborn.
A third site, which is presently described as a non-specified development, would take shape on the four dry docks down by the river.
Some, though, are not convinced.
On the Gazette’s website, the user ‘Banished’ posted: “This may be rather obvious, but if STC are going to build commercial premises, would it not be best to have a tenant signed up first?
“Otherwise, we may well end up with the riverside lined with empty office buildings. The clue is in the empty office/call centre building already becoming a neglected eyesore.”
Stuart McGinley added: “The bigger question is, are these new properties going to pay for themselves or just lie empty like others which are similar?”