Flats conversion scheme hangs in balance

APARTMENTS PLAN ... Grosvenor Lodge in Grosvenor Road, South Shields
APARTMENTS PLAN ... Grosvenor Lodge in Grosvenor Road, South Shields

PLANS for the conversion of a former South Tyneside residential care home into apartments hang in the balance after a final decision was put on hold.

South Tyneside Council approved an application in December to transform historic Grosvenor Lodge in South Shields, pictured, into seven flats.

But the developer, South Shields-based Key West One, has now submitted a new application to extend the Grosvenor Road building’s roof and add seven roof-lights.

That has angered neighbours in Grosvenor Road, Tynedale Road, the Broadway and St George’s Avenue, who say it is an “unacceptable over- development”.

Members of the council’s planning committee considered the bid when they met at South Shields Town Hall this week.

They decided to defer a decision until members have paid a fact-finding site visit to the area.

In a report to the committee, a spokesman for the objecting residents said: “The original application had a design which was unattractive and did nothing to enhance the original historic building. But the amended plans give the extension unacceptable dominance and interfere with the historic character of this stretch of Grosvenor Road, which is adjacent to the Westoe Village conservation area.

“The amended new building is considerably larger than the single-storey one approved.

“The size of the amended version, along with its proximity to some of the premises on the north side of Tynedale Road, will have a significant visual impact and result in unacceptable dominance.”

In response, a council report plays down the historic nature of the building. It says: “The property is a large attractive Edwardian villa that retains many period features, both internally and externally.

“However, the property is not a listed building, is not included on the council’s local list of historic assets, and does not lie in a conservation area.

“Regarding the objectors’ concerns about over-development of the site, the footprint of the extension has not been increased and is still considered in proportion to the original building.”