Lukes Lane housing development plans: New date set for Hebburn homes decision after delay over traffic concerns

Major housing plans in Hebburn are set to go before councillors for decision for a second time, after previously being delayed over traffic concerns.

In October 2022, South Tyneside Council’s Planning Committee discussed proposals from Barratt Homes North East for land east of Lukes Lane.

Plans included the erection of 127 new homes along with a new vehicular access point from Lukes Lane, associated infrastructure and landscaping.

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The undeveloped agricultural land covers around 8.5 hectares, with housing development proposed to the western part of the site and sustainable drainage and a wildlife habitat to the east.

A decision is due on the Lukes Lane housing plans. Picture c/o Google Maps.

South Tyneside Council’s planning department had deemed the scheme acceptable on balance and recommended it for approval at a meeting on October 24, 2022.

At the time, council officers noted highways officers had not objected to the plans, with an assessment estimating there would be 46 vehicles departing the site an hour during peak times, equating to less than one vehicle a minute.

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However councillors raised concerns about traffic and congestion issues impacting areas such as Mill Lane and Whitemare Pool roundabout.

Councillors also argued that existing issues would be exacerbated by the increase in vehicles from the new homes and unanimously backed proposals to defer a decision on the plans.

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The deferral included a request for council planners to come back with more information in response to concerns and to look at potential alternative suggestions.

Now the planning application will go before Planning Committee for decision, with council officers again recommending the scheme for approval.

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This would be subject to the completion of a legal agreement securing cash and other measures from developers to make the scheme acceptable.

Some measures include the provision of 20% affordable housing, funding for off-site streetlighting and £288,000 to secure “compensatory grassland or other suitable habitat off-site” in South Tyneside.

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Other aspects include developers meeting council costs to implement a 20mph speed limit within the development site and on Lukes Lane, between its junction with Holmes Drive and its junction with the main site access.

A report prepared for councillors noted a third party had made a ‘call-in’ request to Central Government for the Secretary of State to decide the application.

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However council officers confirmed the call-in request was rejected, and that it is for South Tyneside Council to decide the application.

The report from council planning officers also confirmed that financial contributions from developers towards education provision are “not required” for the Hebburn housing scheme.

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On highways concerns, the report stated other approved housing developments in the Hebburn area, including the Hawthorn Leslie site, had secured developer funding for off-site highway works to mitigate traffic impacts.

The committee report added: “The application site is accessible by a choice of means of transport with works proposed as part of the development to improve access to the site from the surrounding area via Lukes Lane for pedestrians and cyclists and improved access to bus stops on Leam Lane as well as improvements to those bus stops.

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“The site is also adjacent to land reserved in the Local Development Framework for a new Metro station and a financial contribution to encourage public transport use has been agreed with the applicant as requested by Nexus.

“The proposals are considered acceptable on highway safety grounds and in terms of their impact on the surrounding highway network and in terms of car/cycle parking provision subject to various conditions.”

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The final say on the plan rests with members of South Tyneside Council’s Planning Committee, who will next meet on Monday, November 21.

The meeting is scheduled to start at 10am at South Shields Town Hall and will be open to the public.