Part of a former factory site in South Tyneside is to be developed into new housing – despite objections from residents and evidence of ground contamination.
Planners admit tests revealed a concentration of some metals and organics on land near Riverside Park, Hebburn - the site of the former Findus food factory
They have ordered a strategy to make the land safe – but say the scheme can otherwise go ahead.
In doing so, they told neighbouring householders their other fears – including traffic concerns and a loss of privacy – were unfounded.
Four detached homes are now planned for a patch of open land at the rear of Waterside Park - built in 1998.
Opposition from three residents included claims the site was too small for the development, and that landscaping and wildlife habitats would be lost.
South Tyneside Council planners found there was little evidence to these claims - but did demand a strip of trees owned by the authority, be protected.
In a report, they state: “It is considered that the proposed development would not be materially detrimental to the visual amenities of the occupants of nearby residential properties or the street scene of Waterside Park.
“The proposed vehicular access and parking arrangements are considered acceptable for a development of four houses.
“It is not considered that the proposed development would result in the generation of a significant amount of additional traffic within Waterside Park.”
The site is bounded to the north by Waterside Park, to the west by Hebburn Riverside Park, and to the south and east by a landscaped footway leading Marina View.
Nearby is also the former Reyrolle site, which is being developed for housing by Persimmon Homes.
Most of the Findus site was developed 20 years ago and now forms Waterside Park.
The new planned development area was instead landscaped to provide private open space.
Records show planners refused a bid to build five homes at the site in 2000, but permission for three homes – never acted on and which expired - was approved in 2001 and 2008.