From dog-friendly cafe to small hotel - here's what you'd like to see done with eyesore South Shields seafront pub
Readers have been having their say over what should be done with a run-down South Shields pub after plans to build luxury apartments on the site were thrown out.
A developer wanted to build a three-storey complex of 23 apartments on the site of disused pub The Waters Edge at Trow Lea, near the seafront.
While some people welcomed the idea of more housing in the town, others said it would spoil coastal views and pave the way for other developers to build on the seafront.
Readers were quick to suggest alternative uses for the site.
Mark Bloxham said he would like to see South Tyneside Council acquire the land and build some sort of visitor attraction.
"It's a prime spot for a visitor centre showcasing our coastline, history and wildlife. Organised walks, rock-pooling and nature hunts. Perhaps a dog-friendly cafe."
Carly Rebecca agreed, saying: "I vote visitor centre. I’m constantly hearing my nan talk about all the times our beaches were used by smugglers and stuff."
Helen Mitchell also said she would like to see it turned over for leisure use: "It would be great for an indoor ice rink, roller rink or play area."
John Golightly suggested: "What about building a smallish hotel? It would be full all year round with that location and views, create many full-time local jobs, and attract visitors and money?"
Mandy Jameson had a different idea: "This would be a fantastic place for terminally ill/disabled children and adults to have short breaks, with medical care on site.
"I believe a charity for kidney patients on dialysis looked into doing something with it so they could have holidays a while back.
"I do feel sorry for the owner, who has all that money invested into it and can’t regenerate it as a business. There’s an opportunity for something special here!"
Chris Bull said: "I, for one, am glad it's been rejected. Just because some land comes up for grabs doesn't mean we should just allow some cheap apartments to be built on it."
Penney Gray agreed: "That’s the best decision. It would be so much better if it was turned into something that the general public can all enjoy, not just yet another set of houses/apartments."
Gemma Long felt the same: "I feel it’s the right decision. Very pleased and glad Gazette raised awareness on this which no doubt helped boost the objections."
Lynda Pym added: "Thank goodness. If they start building houses or flats on the coast the floodgates will open. Flatten it ASAP and leave alone."
And Paul Wood concurred: "Our coastline needs protected from buildings like this, not to mention we would all have lost a seafront car park - even if we have to pay to use it."
Margaret Hines :" I walk along The Leas and beach every day of the year and I don’t want a three-storey apartment block obliterating my views of the sea.
"I have no objections to the pub, it doesn’t offend me and doesn’t have a huge impact on the area.
"I wish the pub was still open and providing another place for the public to enjoy the views of the beach and sea.
"But just because the pub is ‘run down’ doesn’t mean we need a three-storey apartment block in its place.
"The Leas is National Trust land for a reason - it’s to protect the coastline, not to encourage residential development.
"If the council allowed the development to go ahead it would be setting a precedent, and I and many other residents do not want our beautiful beach to be turned into apartment blocks."
But not everyone was pleased planning permission for the apartments had been turned down.
Chris Reay thought the apartments plan was an opportunity to make good use of the site, which has struggled for many years to support a full-time business.
"The place is an absolute eyesore and will sit there for years to come, just deteriorating.
"It's been proved over the years that it’s not going to be a viable business, and no one will take a punt on trying to prove that wrong now, as the building needs so much work doing to it.
"For me, it's the same as the new sports hub at Temple Park. Both should have be approved to make a better South Tyneside - one for the health of future generations and one for the streetscape of the seafront."
Julie Oldershaw was of the same opinion: "It was no to the casino, no to Temple Park. Do people not realise that all these will bring people money and jobs to the area?"
And Rob Mackins added: "It’s too far out to have any realistic public use. That’s why the pub never worked. The best option in my humble opinion would be flats with the bottom floor as retail units, like the coffee shop/paper shop in Sunderland Marina."