Major new housing development approved for former swimming pool site - despite concerns Hebburn is being turned into 'one huge housing estate'

Scores of new homes are set to be built on the former site of Hebburn’s civic centre and swimming baths.

By Chris Binding
Tuesday, 18th February 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 19th February 2020, 12:09 pm

Planning chiefs have given the green light for Keepmoat Homes Ltd to build 91 new homes near Campbell Park Road.

The site formerly housed council buildings, leisure facilities, a resource centre and the children and family court advisory support service.

With the buildings now demolished, the council-owned land is set for a major revamp.

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The former Hebburn swimming pool.

Plans include 19 two-bedroom, 64 three-bedroom and eight four-bedroom homes, alongside private and visitor parking on site.

The majority of homes would be offered for private sale, with nine available for affordable rent, shared ownership or rent-to-buy.

South Tyneside Council’s Planning Committee approved the plans after discussing local objections.

One comment raised concerns about Hebburn “being turned into one huge housing estate without appropriate infrastructure to support it.”

South Tyneside Tree Action Group also opposed the loss of trees on site and called for developers to do more to “protect and incorporate existing healthy trees.”

According to planning papers, almost 20 trees will be felled to make way for housing, including six covered by a tree preservation order.

Campaigners claimed the move clashed with the council’s drive to slash carbon emissions after declaring a ‘climate emergency’ last year.

However, developers plan to replant 70 trees on the site alongside providing £9,100 to the council to improve cycling and walking infrastructure on Campbell Park Road.

The transport changes are included in a Section 106 agreement – which aims to secure funds to reduce the impact of major developments.

Coun Gladys Hobson said the plans would contribute towards the council’s house building targets in coming years.

She added the council should encourage developers to adopt eco-friendly measures for new homes, such as solar panels.

Coun Geraldine Kilgour also agreed the council must work towards its “climate change responsibility.”

She added: “For me, the mitigation is that a mixed-use tenure site is being converted into a housing site which is taking that emphasis away, in small part, from the demand on our green belt, which is exceptionally precious.”

Councillors heard the ‘nine affordable homes’ figure was linked to a viability assessment from the applicant – and fell short of a 25% council standard.

Coun Anne Hetherington said developers failing to meet this standard “seemed to be a regular occurrence”.

“I find it extremely concerning when we’re building so many houses, I just wonder whether something can be done to look into that,” she said.

Planning officers added market conditions had changed since the standard was introduced almost ten years ago.

The meeting heard that a viability document had been independently checked, with planners agreeing with the conclusions.

Following discussion, councillors approved the plans with a majority vote, subject to the completion of the section 106 agreement.

Final permissions are also needed from the council’s Head of Development Services before work can start.

Under planning conditions, construction and deliveries are limited to 8am – 6pm on weekdays and 9am – 1pm on Saturdays.