South Tyneside Council recently submitted a demolition application to its own planning department for a number of buildings in Fowler Street.
This is linked to Future High Streets funding from the Government to help the local authority pave the way for more town centre housing development.
The site earmarked for demolition covers a mixed development of retail units at numbers 60, 62, 64 and 70 Fowler Street and 5, 7 and 9 Burrow Street, which includes two former furniture stores buildings.
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It comes just days after plans were approved for the demolition of buildings in Coronation Street, Waterloo Square and Cornwallis Street, a short distance away from Fowler Street on the other side of the transport interchange.
According to a submitted planning application, the Fowler Street buildings are in a “poor state of disrepair and are surplus to South Tyneside Council’s requirements”.
The planning application adds the buildings are all already vacant with the one exception of 7 Burrow Street which “remains occupied until alternative accommodation is found for the tenant”.
After considering the demolition application, officers in the South Tyneside Council’s planning department granted prior approval on June 24, 2022.
A decision report prepared by planners said the “proposed method of demolition would be appropriate given the scale of the buildings”.
The report adds: “It is considered that given the nature and scale of the proposed demolition work that prior approval is required.
“However, it is considered that the proposed method of demolition and site restoration would be acceptable.”
Works will be completed by “sequential demolition and dismantling techniques” with “dust and noise suppression methods” also employed during the demolition work.
According to the planning documents, the council hopes to start demolition works at Fowler Street later this year with a view of completing the works by the end of January, 2023.
The demolition work approval is the latest update on an ‘evolved vision’ for South Shields town centre which includes plans for more housing and a relocated South Tyneside College campus.
According to the council, the planned demolitions of buildings, including the old central library, former job centre and a number of vacant retail and commercial units, aims to ‘unlock’ sites for development.
Councillor Margaret Meling, lead member for economic growth, skills and climate change on the council’s ruling cabinet, said the Fowler Street demolition plans would make the site “shovel-ready” for needed housing development.
Speaking earlier in June 2022, the cabinet member said: “We are using £6million awarded to the council through the Future High Streets Fund to acquire land and properties needed to facilitate residential development in South Shields town centre.
“These demolitions, subject to planning permission, would help provide ‘shovel-ready’ sites needed for the delivery of much-needed new homes.
“Our regeneration plans are centred on boosting footfall and increasing the residential population and will mean more people spending time and money in the town centre.”