Plans for new over-55s housing complex set to get the go-ahead

South Shields Town Hall
South Shields Town Hall

PLANS for a new housing complex for older people in South Tyneside were set to get the go-ahead today.

Developers have put forward proposals to build 52 affordable housing units for over-55s on land off River Drive, in South Shields.

The multi-storey apartment blocks would be built on open space at the junction of River Drive and Mile End Road.

A garage block would also be demolished and a turning area cleared to make room for the development.

A planning application for the project was submitted by South Tyneside Housing Ventures & Galliford Try Partnerships North.

Planning officers at South Tyneside Council have recommended councillors approve the proposal at a meeting at the Town Hall at 10am today.

However, six residents from neighbouring Claypit Close have submitted objections to the plans over traffic, parking and noise concerns, as well as fears the development will block out light.

Revised plans were submitted in an attempt to address these concerns, but three neighbours disagreed they did, and put forward further representations.

The land, is said to be considered by many to be “village green space”, the planning report states.

One of the objectors said: “The green space is a welcome site enjoyed by many people and will be spoilt by this development.”

“The minor token changes do not address the concerns of the residents of Claypit Close and original objections still stand,” a resident wrote in response to the re-submission.

Other concerns include the scale of the development being inappropriate to face directly onto the rear gardens of homes in Claypit Close.

“The height of the proposed building will engulf and dwarf the houses, creating a tunnel effect and result in loss of sunlight to the gardens, impacting on quality of life and ability to enjoy outside space in the summer months,” an objector said.

Residents suggest the developer should find more suitable land elsewhere – or at least build it so the front of the building faces River Drive.

Earlier concerns surrounded a consultation process by the applicant, which failed to inform some of the immediate neighbours of the plans.

The report said: “It has since been acknowledged by the applicant that there was a mistake in the publicity associated with this exercise, such that some residents closest to the site were not included in the consultation exercise.

“A revised report, dated December 2014, has been received, noting that a further consultation was undertaken specifically for the residents of Clayput Close.

“Six response forms were returned, all objecting to the proposal.”

Councillors on the borough’s planning committee will listen to the objections and information from planners before making a decision on whether or not to grant planning permission.

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