Latest plans approved for overgrown site of former Victorian Gothic church St Aidan's at the Lawe Top in South Shields

A former church site in South Shields is on track to be transformed into ‘self-build’ homes following a decision by planning bosses.

Tuesday, 16th November 2021, 2:22 pm

Back in August 2021, South Tyneside Council received a planning application for a parcel of land off St Aidan’s Road in the Beacon and Bents ward.

The site on the Lawe Top was the former home of St Aidan’s Church, which dated from around 1887 and was demolished in the early 2000s.

New plans aimed to prepare the long-vacant land for housing development, with outline planning permission proposed for ‘four residential self-build plots’ with all matters reserved until a later date.

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The site has sat empty and overgrown for almost two decades.

This includes layout, access, scale and appearance of the development.

The land has been earmarked for housing in the past, including a complex rejected in 2006, and there have been a number of calls over the years to make use of the weed-riddled eyesore spot.

Recent plans for six family homes approved by South Tyneside Council in 2017 – however the scheme was never brought forward.

The site also benefits from planning permission for five detached homes, which was granted in April 2020.

St Aidan's Church at the Lawe Top, before its demolition.

After considering the new application for self-build plots on the site, the council’s planning department granted permission on November 12, 2021.

Four self-build plots have been proposed ranging from 402 square metres up to 462 square metres.

A design and access statement prepared for the applicant noted the benefits of the site in providing “excellent access” to local leisure and shopping facilities.

Before work can start, the finer details of the homes would need to be approved by South Tyneside Council as part of reserved matters applications.

The site has sat empty and overgrown for almost two decades.

To make sure the homes are consistent across the four plots, a design code would give self-builders guidance on “acceptable materials and finishes.”

The design and access statement goes on to say: “This ensures that consistent, high quality homes will be developed that sit comfortably within their context.

“While scale and appearance will be dealt with by future reserved matters applications, this initial design code will ensure that the starting point for the dwelling design will be consistent across the four plots.”

For more information on the application, visit South Tyneside Council’s online planning portal and search reference: ST/0710/21/OUT

The site has sat empty and overgrown for almost two decades.

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