Hairdresser refused permission to open salon in back garden of South Shields home

Proposals for a hairdressing business in the rear garden of a South Shields home have been thrown out by council planners.

Plans were lodged with South Tyneside Council in 2020 for a new outbuilding in the back garden of a property in Westoe Crown.

It was proposed that the building would have a mixed use including a “woodturning hobby and storage room” and “commercial hairdressing area.”

While no neighbour objections were lodged, South Tyneside Council’s planning department refused the application in late January 2021.

The applicant had wanted to open a salon in an outbuilding

The main issues included the scale of the building and its location within a residential area – with planners arguing the development would lead to increased noise and disturbance.

They added the hairdressing business would have an “unacceptable impact” on parking in the area due to the expected increase in vehicles attending appointments.

According to a planning report, the applicant confirmed the home salon would only include one stylist and would operate on an ‘appointment-only’ basis while also offering mobile appointments.

Proposed opening hours included 9am-5pm on weekdays and 9am-3pm on Saturdays, with operating hours changing daily within these timescales to suit “changing dynamics and client needs.”

The applicant added the impact on local neighbours would be “virtually unnoticeable” with the outbuilding having insulated walls and acoustic sound control installed.

A statement submitted to the council went on to say: “In these unprecedented times working from home has become the new normal for many people and a small home salon is a natural progression forward to ensure sustainable employment security.”

In a decision report, council planners also questioned the principle of setting up a hair salon in a residential area, as opposed to a town centre unit.

National planning guidance requires applications for main town centre uses, such as hairdressers, to be located in town centres, then in ‘edge-of-centre’ locations.

Only if suitable sites are not available should ‘out of centre sites’ be considered, a planning report states.

In the case of the Westoe Crown application, planners said there were preferable sites available in town centres and that the home salon could divert trade away from existing shopping centres, if approved.

A council decision report went on to say: “There are sequentially preferable sites available for the proposed commercial hairdressing business, including existing vacant units within South Shields town centre and the nearby Westoe Crown local neighbourhood shopping centre (Sea Winnings Way).

“The proposed use of a building within the garden of an existing dwelling house as a hairdressers would impact on the vitality and viability of these shopping centres as the existing vacant units would not be utilised and there may also be a diversion of trade from existing retailers in the shopping centres to the proposed out of centre hairdressers.

“The proposed commercial hairdressing business would be harmful to the vitality and viability of the borough’s town, district and local neighbourhood shopping centres.”

The report added it was not clear how the proposed woodturning hobby and storage land uses would be implemented on site and whether the various uses would be “compatible with each other.”

The application was officially turned down on January 29.

Following the refusal notice, the applicant has the right to contest the council’s decision by lodging an appeal with the Secretary of State.

Support your Gazette and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to local news, the latest football stories and new puzzles every day. With a digital subscription, you can see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Click here to subscribe.