Petition urging South Tyneside Council to take action over the Whitburn Lodge nears 500 signatures
A petition urging South Tyneside Council to take action over the run down Whitburn Lodge nears 500 signatures.
and live on Freeview channel 276
The former pub, which closed its doors to customers in 2012, had fallen into a state of disrepair before it was gutted by a fire on New Year’s Day 2023.
Eight months on from the blaze, the Whitburn Neighbourhood Forum has launched a petition calling on the local authority to inform local residents on what the plans are surrounding the building’s future.
Philip Leaf, the chair of the Whitburn Neighbourhood Forum, has told the Shields Gazette that the group has been lobbying the Council for details on the future of the site.
He commented: “We are concerned and we want South Tyneside Council to take positive action over the Whitburn Lodge.
“As far as we are aware, the Council have done nothing so far regarding the future of the site as they haven’t gave us any details.
“They just keep telling us that they are doing what they can but that doesn’t solve any safety issues regarding the state of the building.
“It could take years to sort out but the pub is in a dangerous position and it is an accident waiting to happen - do we have to wait for someone to be seriously injured or killed before action is taken?
“I am constantly getting asked about what the Council are doing about the site and many people in the local community are complaining about it.
“If you are approaching Whitburn from the north, the building is the first thing you see so we want to see something done with the site.”
Read South Tyneside’s news on the go with our free email newsletters - bringing the headlines to your inbox. Catch up on the day’s news and sport and enjoy even more from your Gazette. Visit our website here to find out more and sign up.
In the days after the fire, the leader of South Tyneside Council, Cllr Tracey Dixon, who represents the borough’s Whitburn and Marsden ward, stressed that councillors are keen to push for the demolition of what remains of the building.
Speaking in January 2023, Cllr Dixon said: “Ward members have actively been contacting the officers within the council with regard to the ownership of the site to see what pressure can we put on those to demolish the Whitburn Lodge, because it’s a real concern for ward members.
“We don’t feel it is safe and something does need to be done with regards to that site in particular.”
Following the launch of the Whitburn Neighbourhood Forum’s petition, South Tyneside Council has stressed that the Whitburn Lodge is privately owned and will consider the views of the petition once it is submitted.
A Council spokesperson stated: “When the petition is submitted, we will consider it and respond in accordance with our petitions scheme.”
You can visit the petition by visiting: https://www.change.org/p/sortoutthewhitburnlodge-whitburnforum.