A housing developer has moved to allay fresh fears of permanent roads disruption around a major South Tyneside building project.
Miller Homes has reaffirmed that it does not intend to open a prepared - but as yet unused access road - into its giant Westburn Village scheme at Hebburn.
The company, which is building 334 houses on a 10-hectare plot off Victoria Road West, says it would only do so as a last resort to support development work.
It has faced anger from householders concerned that the access road, close to their homes on South Drive, may be fully opened to new homes’ buyers.
The entrance is currently blocked and serves as a dead end but has been freshly prepared for use by Edinburgh-based Miller Homes.
The firm has again confirmed the road would only ever open temporarily for truck access.
A spokesperson said: “We have managed to effectively co-ordinate access to the site via Victoria Road West.
“We are pleased with the work we have undertaken so far to transform this derelict brownfield site into an attractive residential development, with over 30 families already enjoying their new homes in time for Christmas.
“The access on South Drive was introduced in order that this could be utilised on an adhoc basis should it be required, and we wish to reassure residents and clarify once again that there will be no permanent access to the development from South Drive.”
But David Young, 70, a retired marine engineer, of South Drive, said he and other householders still had concerns about the long-term future of the access route.
He criticised South Tyneside Council for not putting binding constraints on the road when it granted planning permission.
He said: “We have had verbal assurances from Miller that this road won’t be opened permanently to residents when the estate is completed, but we still have our fears.
“We were promised something in writing but that has not materialised, which just adds to our suspicions.
“This whole situation could have been avoided if the council’s planners had insisted as part of the planning process that this road could never be used.”
A South Tyneside Council spokesman: “Miller Homes created a temporary construction access from South Drive for health and safety reasons.
“The developer did not have to seek planning permission from the Council to use this alternative route, therefore it was not appropriate to impose planning conditions.”