Families' fears that temporary road could become permanent and affect community
Residents have slammed builders over the potential for car chaos by a new road plan at a giant part-built housing site.
People in South Drive, Hebburn, have accused Miller Homes of plotting to permanently open the road - turning their quiet neighbourhood into a busy highway.
Miller Homes recently finished laying a new road and has admitted it could be opened to construction traffic during the development of the 334-home Westburn Village scheme, off Victoria Road West.
But South Drive householders and others nearby believe it is the first step to the entrance becoming a full-time access route for when the estate is finished.
Retired marine engineer David Young, 70, of South Drive, said: “We have real fears about Miller Homes’ immediate and long-term plans for this access road.
“We have been told by the company that it will not be used by trucks and only in an emergency, but we don’t really believe that. What we are most concerned about is the access point being left open when the housing development is completed.
“We want absolute guarantees from Miller that that will not happen. The opening up of South Drive would be a real and lasting blight.”
A resident who did not want to be named, added; “Lots of householders are very worried that this road will be left open.
“If most households on the new estates have two cars, that could potentially bring hundreds of vehicles past our homes every day.”
Edinburgh-based Miller Homes won permission to redevelop the 10 hectare site on the north side of Victoria Road in 2017.
The land previously housed a testing station for engineering firm Siemens and a laboratory building.
Residents expected the developer to create a circular in and out route via two new roads off Victoria Road West, completely avoiding their street.
They claim it changed its plans without due reason or proper consultation.
Miller Homes has said it is entitled to use the South Drive route and insisted South Drive would be used for limited construction access only and that the access point would not become permanent.”
A spokeswoman added: “Having taken on board the concerns of residents on South Drive, we have managed to effectively co-ordinate access to the site via Victoria Road West.
“However, we have also established access on South Drive in order that this can be utilised on an adhoc basis should it be required.”
South Tyneside Council has said Miller Homes did not need its permission to open up the South Drive route.