Plan for new block of flats in South Shields refused after 'shoe-horning' concerns raised

Proposals to build flats on a vacant site in South Shields have been turned down by council planning chiefs due to highway safety and parking fears.

By Chris Binding
Friday, 6th May 2022, 5:25 am

South Tyneside Council’s planning department recently registered an application for land at 149 Boldon Lane in the Whiteleas ward.

Plans included outline planning permission for six double-bedroom flats, with all matters such as appearance, layout and landscaping set to be submitted at a later date in a “reserved matters” application.

The proposed site comprises an undeveloped side garden close to the roundabout junction of Boldon Lane and Harton Lane.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The site in question in Boldon Lane.

According to council planning documents, permission for a four-bedroom house on the site was granted in 2014 – however this development was never brought forward and permission has now lapsed.

New plans proposed a three-and-a-half storey building which would be attached to an adjacent dwelling to the south of the application site.

During consultation on the plans, a number of objections were received from Boldon Lane residents and West Harton Methodist Church.

Concerns included the development being “shoe-horned” into the space, the potential for increased traffic, parking issues, loss of privacy and disruption during construction.

The council’s highway authority also raised concerns about “insufficient parking” on the site, limited visibility for drivers exiting the private driveways and potential traffic accidents given the proximity of the access to a roundabout.

Highways officers also noted there were “inadequate turning facilities” within the site, which could lead to more highway safety issues.

A design and access statement from the applicant said the site had an established residential use and that residential developments had recently been brought forward in the area, including a pub conversion nearby.

The statement added there was a “strong demand” for residential flats which would be suitable for first time buyers and young families / professionals.

Applicants also claimed the proposal would be an improvement to the existing land, would not be “out of character in the area” and would have potential for parking spaces.

Indicative plans confirmed car parking provision would be located both to the front and rear of the site and that an existing vehicle access crossing would be used from Boldon Lane.

After considering the application however, South Tyneside Council’s planning department said the proposal represented “overdevelopment” and refused it on May 4, 2022.

The main reasons for refusal included the “insufficient amount of on-site car parking space” proposed and the “restrictive nature” of the site which would result in a “sub-standard layout”.

Council planners said that in this context, the layout would “lead to vehicles manoeuvring in conflict with one another”.

The planning report goes on to say: “Given that the restrictive nature of the site, [the development] is likely to result in vehicles overspilling onto Boldon Lane and Harton Lane which are busy classified roads, to the detriment of the free flow of traffic within this area and to the detriment of highway safety.”

The applicant has the right to challenge the council’s decision by lodging an appeal with the Secretary of State.

For more information on the planning application and refusal decision, visit South Tyneside Council’s online planning portal and search reference: ST/0912/21/OUT