Date set for appeal hearing over apartment plans for Water's Edge site at South Shields seafront
A hearing date has been set to decide the future of a controversial development on the South Shields seafront.
Councillors discussed proposals for a three-storey, 23-apartment complex on the site of the Water’s Edge Pub at Trow Lea in 2018.
The plan attracted hundreds of objections over fears it would spoil coastal views and impact on wildlife.
South Tyneside Council’s leader, Coun Iain Malcolm, was also among objectors, saying the development would clash with the council and National Trust’s “vision” for the foreshore area – which includes boosting tourism.
While some supported the idea of more housing in the borough, the application was refused sparking an appeal from developers.
Now, a two-day hearing has been arranged to decide the future of the seafront site.
The meeting will be led by a government-appointed planning inspector and is expected to take place at South Shields Town Hall between October 22-23.
Hearings are open to the public with appeal documents available by contacting South Tyneside Council.
The process will involve the council, objectors and applicant/ appellant giving evidence.
It could also mark the end to a planning saga stretching to more than three years.
Plans were originally lodged by pub owner Kevin Brogan for 21 two-bedroom apartments but were withdrawn in February 2016 – days before a potential decision by councillors.
However, amended plans received criticism from council officers over their “excessive” height and the lack of affordable housing provided.
The appellant/ applicant for the new application is listed as Kevin Brogan with Dominic Waugh as the agent.
Speaking at the time of the plans were rejected, Mr Waugh said he was “surprised” to see landscape and character given as a reason for rejection with the plans being “more uniform in appearance” and “befitting of a seaside location” than the current site.
On ecology, he said a habitat assessment report had been submitted and that the applicant had agreed to pay to mitigate impacts on wildlife.
The agent added a deal for extra affordable housing was “always on the table” but was unable to be completed before the meeting due to council delays.