Apartment plans approved for ex-council offices in South Shields

Former council offices in South Shields are set for a new lease of life as apartments after plans were given the green light this week.

Earlier in April, a planning application was lodged with South Tyneside Council for Landreth House, at the junction between South Dene and Boldon Lane.

The building was formerly used as housing offices but according to the local authority’s website, it was closed due to “changes in customer interaction.”

New plans from developer FM London Ltd aimed to change the use of the building from offices to residential accommodation.

Landreth House, South Shields.

An application submitted to council planners aimed to determine whether prior approval was required for the conversion, which included proposals for six residential apartments across two upper floors.

The planning listing from the applicant said the development would “vastly improve and upgrade the internal conditions of the existing building, whilst [bringing] the building into use.”

During consultation, several South Dene residents raised concerns about the apartments, from fears the rooms could be used by “transient occupants” to parking issues and privacy.

One comment also said the building was an “eyesore and should be demolished and re-built.”

In a response to objectors’ concerns in a report, planners stressed that the development was acceptable and would not be used as either a house in multiple occupation or a ‘drug rehabilitation unit.’

They added “any consent given under the prior approval would not permit the change of use of the ground floor of the building from its existing office use to commercial use”.

After considering all representations, council planners concluded that prior approval was required and approved the application on May 19, 2021.

A decision report reads: “It is considered that given the nature of the development, prior approval is required.

“However, the development as proposed is considered to be acceptable in the context of the matters which are to be considered.”

The report goes on to say: “The surrounding area also contains a mixture of residential and commercial uses, including existing commercial units with residential properties above.

“Having regard to the character of the area, the current ground floor use of the building and the design and layout of the new flats, it is not considered that the potential noise impacts from commercial premises on the intended occupiers of the development would be unacceptable.”

For more information on the application and the council decision, visit South Tyneside Council’s planning portal and search reference: ST/0336/21/PNCU

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