Decision date set for major expansion plans at Barbour site

Proposals for a new warehouse facility at the home of iconic South Tyneside business Barbour are due to go before councillors for decision.

South Tyneside Council’s planning department recently registered an application for J Barbour and Sons Ltd in the Bede ward.

The business, founded in 1894, is now based in Bede Industrial Estate and has been making and selling waxed jackets for more than 125 years.

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New plans aim to erect a new storage warehouse to serve Barbour’s main warehousing and distribution operation at the rear of units 11-12, Bedesway.

The Barbour factory. The company has applied for planning permission to expand its facilities.The Barbour factory. The company has applied for planning permission to expand its facilities.
The Barbour factory. The company has applied for planning permission to expand its facilities.

This would include a building with a floorspace of around 5,000 square metres as well as four ‘dock levellers’, sprinkler tanks and a pumphouse.

Planning documents, submitted with Barbour’s planning application, state the development would improve operations on site and “the capacity in circulation and access by HGVs”.

The plans aim to tackle what a planning statement described as a “serious logistical problem with the site and buildings with both the lack of storage space and the inability to get the clothing into and out of the site quickly enough”.

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Proposals also include the development of an “energy efficient and sustainable modern warehouse” that would reduce the carbon footprint of the Barbour company operation.

The Barbour site in South Tyneside.The Barbour site in South Tyneside.
The Barbour site in South Tyneside.

Once complete, the new development would result in 20 additional staff being employed on site.

As a ‘major’ application, the planning proposals will go before the council’s Planning Committee for decision later this month.

South Tyneside Council planning officers have deemed the scheme acceptable and recommended it for approval.

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Although the plans will lead to the loss of a large on-site staff car park, this is expected to be offset by a separate planning application to extend another Barbour staff car park on the other side of Bedesway.

This application is expected to be decided under the council’s‘delegated powers’ prior to consideration by Planning Committee of the storage warehouse plan.

The Planning Committee report reads: “This [storage warehouse] proposal would allow a significant and long-established major employer in the borough to further extend and consolidate their business operations on the Bede Industrial Estate site and would safeguard existing jobs whilst also creating new job opportunities.

“Overall, the principle of this further employment development in this predominantly industrial area is acceptable and very much welcomed and is in accord with relevant local and national planning policy.”

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The report goes on to say:”The proposal is considered to deliver a high quality environment in urban design terms which respects existing landscape features.

“Climate change matters have been satisfactorily addressed subject to conditions regarding details.

“With regard to the natural environment and environmental protection matters the proposals are acceptable in ecology terms and in respect of green infrastructure, pollution, drainage and minerals safeguarding matters.”

South Tyneside Council’s highway authority have also raised no objections to the proposed site access arrangements and internal layout.

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A final decision on the application rests with councillors on the Planning Committee, who will next meet on Monday, May 23, at South Shields Town Hall.

The meeting is scheduled to start at 10am and will be open to the public.