Hebburn club will be flattened if it fails again

Frank Burns, secretary, and stewardesses Leigh Scott, left, and Val Grieves, at Hebburn Colliery Social Club.
Frank Burns, secretary, and stewardesses Leigh Scott, left, and Val Grieves, at Hebburn Colliery Social Club.

A SOUTH Tyneside social club will be safe from the threat from demolition – if it continues to be a success.

Members of the council’s planning committee yesterday gave the go-ahead to an outline application to flatten the Colliery Club in High Lane Row, Hebburn, and build four apartments and 10 houses in its place.

The club has a commercial lease and I wish them every success to trade. This is simply a fall-back position in the case that it fails in the future.

Lawrie McWilliams, Orbis Management

But that would only happen if the social club hit hard times and was unable to pay the rent owed to the building’s owners.

Lawrie McWilliams, managing director with Orbis Management, owners of the building, said he hoped the club committee could guide it to continued success.

And he said the application only provided an alternative option for the site in the event of the club struggling financially – as it has in the past.

He said: “The club has a commercial lease and I wish them every success to trade.

“This is simply a fall-back position in the case that it fails in the future.

“The club has failed three times in the past.

“It has been the Hebburn Colliery Club, it has been High Lane Club and it’s the Colliery Club now, and, practically, the demand for that sort of business is in decline.

“We all hope that it continues from a business perspective, but in the event that it fails, this is an option in terms of where we go.”

Coun Wilf Flynn, Labour councillor for Hebburn North, sought clarification as to the club’s long-term future.

He said: “As far as my understanding this is a functioning club on the site.

“If we grant this, do we precipitate the closure of the club because I’m aware that even the developers don’t even want to close it.”

Coun Flynn was assured the applicant would have to return to the committee in the future with a full planning application if it intended to go ahead with the housing bid.