Whitburn residents have their say on the scenic views they want to protect from development
Whitburn residents have had their say on what they think are the village's most valued views as they look to protect them from being spoiled by over development.
Whitburn Neighbourhood Forum has carried out a survey asking those living in the village what they consider to be its most treasured views as it looks to include a policy to protect them in its Neighbourhood Plan.
The forum was formally designated by South Tyneside Council in January 2017 for the purpose of the local community carrying out neighbourhood planning activities in the Whitburn area.
After the plan has been approved by a local referendum, it becomes statutory planning policy, which means that any future development will need to conform to that plan.
Neighbourhood Plans, when adopted, sit alongside South Tyneside Council’s borough-wide Local Plan.
The survey which was launched on June 4, features 27 views from across the village include the views of Whitburn Windmill looking North West from Mill Lane and the view looking east from Lizard Lane.
The survey which ran until June 18, was shared across the forum’s social media pages and had around 32 responses from residents.
The views will now be collated and included on the policy map that will form part of the Neighbourhood Plan.
Whitburn Forum vice chairman Steve Lavelle said: “As part of our Neighbourhood Plan we want to protect long-range views that are characteristic of the area.
“If over development happens, the area would be less attractive.
“Anyone can say what their favourite long-range view is, Whitburn has so many views from so many vantage points.
“I thought why should the committee determine what long range views should be included in the plan?
“So we put it out to the public to see how residents answered.
“There is no assurance that these views will be protected, but it lends weight to our evidence in our Neighbourhood Plan should it go up for inspection.”
In February, Whitburn Forum members objected to South Tyneside Council’s Draft Local Plan which proposes to build over 2,600 homes on greenbelt sites across the borough.
The plan included around 400 houses in the Whitburn village on sites including the Whitburn Lodge land and adjacent horses’ fields, land at the Charley Hurley Centre in Cleadon Lane, and on land between Wellands Lane and Lizard Lane.
The council said that the new Draft Plan would contain a wider range of policies to protect the environment and that the council has a statutory obligation to meet future housing and employment needs.
As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the plans have been put on hold, with South Tyneside Council confirming that no final decisions have been made.
The council has maintained that the feedback received during the consultation period will be used to shape the formal Publication Draft, which the council is hoping to go out to consultation later this year.
Ultimately, the plan will be submitted to the Secretary of State for a Public Examination before an independent Planning Inspector.
To view the survey visit: https://bit.ly/Whitburnviews
Anyone who lives in Whitburn and wishes to join the forum can fill in an online form athttps://www.whitburnforum.co.uk/sign-up.html