Planning approval sought for South Shields flats

PLANNING DECISION ... Henry Studdy House.
PLANNING DECISION ... Henry Studdy House.

A DECISION on plans to demolish a former police training centre and convert it into flats should finally be made next week.

An application has been submitted for an apartment complex on the site of the now-vacant Henry Studdy House, in the town’s Bede Burn Road.

Many local residents want to preserve the building, which is about 100 years old, and fear the plans will spark traffic congestion and parking issues.

At a meeting of the council’s planning committee last month members also raised concerns.

Coun Geraldine Kilgour, who represents Labour for Fellgate and Hedworth, spoke out in support of a site visit before a final decision was made.

And when members reconvene at South Shields Town Hall, at 10am, next Monday, they will be recommended by council planning officers to give the bid the green light. A report to the committee says: “The proposed development would contribute towards the borough’s housing land supply on a previously developed site.

“It would be constructed to an acceptable standard, in line with the council’s current objectives regarding sustainable development, and the proposal would provide no undue risks with ground contamination.

“It is considered the proposal would be acceptable in relation to the impact on visual amenity, neighbouring amenity, highway 
safety and the protected trees on the site.”

Originally a training centre for police cadets, Henry Studdy House was also home to security and accountancy firms as well as a record company in recent years.

But it has stood empty for more than three years, and it is not a listed building.

The plan, for eight, two-bedroom apartments, has been submitted by IDS Fire and Security Ltd, which is based at the Metro Business Park, in Gateshead.