Concerns raised over new marina planned for South Shields riverside as dozens of neighbours lodge official objections

Dozens of objectors have voiced fears over plans for a ‘pontoon-based marina facility’ in South Shields.

Proposals submitted to South Tyneside Council state the small marina facility could provide opportunities for watersports and community organisations.

However, campaigners have questioned the benefits of the scheme while raising health, safety and environmental concerns about its location – including noise and parking.

The marina development is proposed for the former Brigham and Cowan dock

The Market Dock Residents’ Association is opposing the planning application, which is expected to be decided by the council’s Planning Committee in future.

While no date has been set yet for a planning hearing, more than 50 members of the group have already lodged objections.

A spokesperson said the planning application has been “dressed up to make it more attractive than it actually is, and has residents seeing red.”

A statement from the campaigners goes on to say: “The applicant quotes his development as ‘the jewel in the crown’ of the estate – it is not.

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“When people buy a home, they look at what is currently there and what is likely to be there in the future. In Market Dock, residents have a fantastic environment with beautiful views and a whole host of wildlife to appreciate.

“When marinas (and not pontoons) are built, they are built first and are an attraction for potential buyers.“

The statement added: “None of the residents say they are against either a floating pontoon or a marina – however, they dispute that the location mooted is the best place for it.”

Concerns over land

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The planning application falls against the backdrop of an access dispute after part of the riverside walkway at Long Row, next to the application site, was gated off.

The Market Dock Residents’ Association have called for council chiefs to investigate how the land became privately owned- a campaign which has been backed by South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck.

An online petition on the issue has also raised nearly 600 signatures.

In a statement, South Tyneside Council maintained it has never owned the land in question and that the land was last transferred from ‘Key West No. Three’ to its current owner in 2018.

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A council spokesperson said: “I can confirm that the land at Long Row that is referred to has never been in council ownership and therefore was never sold to anyone by South Tyneside Council.

“Confirmation of ownership can be found via the Land Registry and South Tyneside Council has been helping campaigners with their enquiries to date.

“Whilst we understand the frustrations and inconvenience of not being able to use the walkway, this has never been a public right of way.

“The planning application only relates to the pontoon and does not relate to land ownership. The two matters should not be confused.

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“Any representations received regarding the planning application will be given careful consideration and a decision be reached in accordance with planning policy.

“The application will be determined by the Planning Committee in due course.”

In a previous statement submitted as part of the planning process, the applicant responded to concerns about the scheme and its potential impact.

According to planning documents, the pontoon structure would be designed to minimise noise and would only generate demand for an extra five to eight parking spaces at peak times.

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The applicant statement added that marina developments were considered as an “enhancement of residential settings, improving the general amenity and desirability of an area.”

For more information on the application, visit South Tyneside Council’s online ‘planning portal’ and search reference: ST/0353/20/FUL

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