Georgian houses in South Shields' Beach Road to become homes again, 200 years after they were first built

Historic buildings in the heart of South Shields are set to be transformed into apartments after proposals were approved by planning bosses.

By Chris Binding
Wednesday, 4th May 2022, 3:50 pm

South Tyneside Council’s planning department recently registered an application for 1, 3 and 3a Beach Road.

The Grade II-listed properties occupy an end of terrace location close to the junction of Beach Road and Fowler Street.

Numbers 1 to 23 Beach Road were built as Ogle Terrace on land belonging to one Reverend JS. Ogle, with the complete terrace shown on Wood’s 1827 map of South Shields.

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Apartment plans have been approved for 1, 3 and 3A Beach Road. Picture c/o Google Streetview.

The Tyne and Wear Historic Environment Record states: “Numbers 3 and 3A are built of red brick with a slate roof.

"It has two storeys above a semi-basement. The entrance, approached by a flight of steps, is framed by a Tuscan doorcase with an open pediment.”

For Number 1, it reads: “It has two storeys above a semi-basement. The central door, approached by flight of steps, is framed by a good wood Doric doorcase with open pediment.”

According to planning documents, the vacant properties were last used as business offices, with the coach house to the rear of number three having previously been used as a taxi booking office.

New plans aimed to change the use of the properties to six self-contained residential dwellings.

This included four apartments at 1 Beach Road, comprising two two-bedroom apartments, one three-bedroom apartment and one one-bedroom apartment.

In addition, the plans included a one-bedroom flat within the basement of 3a Beach Road and one three-bedroom maisonette at 3 Beach Road.

External and internal alterations were proposed in connection with the planned conversion of the properties to residential use.

This included the demolition of a derelict former coach house and adjoining outbuilding to the rear as well as the provision of a car port, parking spaces, bin store, bollards and new boundary walls.

A design and access statement submitted said the conversion would help futureproof the buildings, make the dwellings “more marketable” and “ensure the buildings are appealing to residents.”

Specific objectives of the project also aimed to preserve as much “historic fabric” as possible and “maintain the character of the existing layouts” while providing “improved provision” for town centre housing.

During council consultation on the plans, environmental health officers noted the proximity of the proposed apartments to South Shields Town Hall and the potential noise impacts of the chimes from the town hall clock.

In a report, they said that should a complaint be made by a future resident(s), it would be “unlikely that statutory nuisance could be used as a means of investigation as the town hall is of course long established”.

After considering the application South Tyneside Council planners gave the green light to the plans, and a separate bid for listed building consent, in April, 2022.

A planning decision report, prepared by council officers, reads: “In respect of the planning balance the benefits arising from the proposed development comprise the bringing back into viable use of listed buildings which have been vacant for many years and which are deteriorating physically as a consequence of such vacancy.

“The proposals would also provide new homes, making a small contribution to addressing the borough’s housing land supply deficit and improve the visual amenities of the locality given the currently unkempt appearance of the properties.”

The report goes on to say: “Overall it is considered that greatest weight should be given to the benefits arising from bringing back into viable use listed buildings which have been vacant for many years and associated benefits related to visual amenity improvements and the provision of new homes.

“These benefits are considered to outweigh the harm arising from loss of the coach house at No.3 and residential amenity harm related to noise from the town hall clock”.

For more information on the planning application and planning decision, visit South Tyneside Council’s online planning portal and search reference: ST/1082/21/FUL