Final part of controversial plans for 144 homes at Wardley Colliery site on South Tyneside border approved
The last part of controversial plans to build more than 100 new homes on the site of a former coal mine bordering South Tyneside border have been approved.
Persimmon Homes won its fight to transform the Wardley Colliery site when a planning committee at Gateshead Council, on whose side of the border the site sits, voted to approve its plans in December 2018.
South Tyneside Council’s planners were against the proposals when consulted at the time, stating the development application conflicted with greenbelt policy, with other concerns raised over highways management and increased local traffic.
The South Tyneside planning team was asked for its views by Gateshead Council, due to the proximity of the development to its border.
In an official letter of response, the team said: “By definition the development represents inappropriate development and there would appear to be no very special circumstances that would otherwise enable a development of this scale/size to be allowed at this sensitive site.”
Planners claimed allowing the development to go ahead could set a precedent for greenbelt development elsewhere.
But councillors disagreed saying that the development, which is a mixture of two, three, four and five bedroom houses represented a good opportunity to get the former industrial site cleaned up.
At the time Stuart Green, who represents Wardley and Leam Lane, said: “We believe this is our only opportunity to remove this blight from dereliction.”
Now, a “reserved matters” application dealing with landscaping, layout, scale and appearance for the 144-home project, has been give the go-ahead.
The layout, which was approved by the planning committee on Wednesday, includes a spine road, a central area of open space, pedestrian links to Manor Gardens, and the new access road, and parking for visitors and residents.
A report to the committee said: “The layout is logical and in keeping with the physical parameters of the site and provides for a number of cul-de-sacs leading off the spine road from the centrally located open space.”
It also described the separation distances between the homes as “adequate”.
The eastern portion of the site is occupied by the former JW Coats and Sons salvage yard.
The report also described that part of the site as “heavily contaminated” due to its past as a railway siding and vehicle reclamation yard.