Plans approved for new South Shields Job Centre Plus on former multi-storey site - this is what it will mean for parking spaces

Major plans for a new office complex in South Shields have been given the go-ahead by councillors.

Developer Muse Developments Ltd recently revealed proposals to build a two storey centre which will become the town’s new Job Centre Plus.

The scheme would see the Job Centre Plus branch on Barrington Street demolished and rehoused in a new 12,000 sq ft building off Mile End Road housing 65 employees.

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It would also bring over a range of services to help people of working age find work and claim benefits, as well as specialist support for those with disabilities.

Artist’s impression of new office block in Mile End Road, South Shields

According to planning documents, the Mile End Road site was formerly used as a multi-storey car park before its demolition in 2006 and has remained as a temporary car park with around 60 spaces.

Although the existing public pay and display car parking area would be lost, developers stated there is enough capacity in car parks across South Shields.

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At a meeting to decide the plans on Tuesday May 26, some members of South Tyneside Council’s Planning Committee raised concerns about the loss of parking.

Coun Neil Maxwell asked if there were any nearby sites which could be turned into parking areas.

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“[The report] says 60 car parking spaces are going to be lost but I actually believe that more than sixty cars could park on there,” he said.

“I just think that it’s a town centre site, we shouldn’t be losing about 100 car parking spaces all at once.”

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Planning officer, Peter Cunningham, confirmed the unmarked car parking area could accommodate more than 60 cars, depending on how motorists park.

He added planners had worked with the council’s parking services team and said there was no need to provide any additional parking provision.

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“Additional parking space has been provided at the back of Fowler Street and other areas and the council has been investing significantly in these public parking spaces within the town to encourage people to come into the town,” he said.

A report to councillors added that the site was in a sustainable location with close links to the town centre and public transport.

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Following discussion, the planning application was approved with a unanimous vote.

The Job Centre plans form part of the multi-million pound South Shields 365 masterplan being delivered through collaboration between Muse and South Tyneside Council.

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Council chiefs say the proposals would free up land in a key development area for the next stage of the 365 vision for the South Shields town centre.

A Design and Access Statement, submitted by the developer, adds: “The location of this office provides optimum accessibility for staff and visitors using public transport and is consistent with planning policy to create employment uses within the town centre.

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“All material choice and appearance have been considered to reflect the historic context of this part of the town centre, while creating a contemporary addition to South Shields in line with recent successful proposals including Little Haven, The Word and the new Transport Interchange.”

The office development would also provide 12 cycle stands and a total of seven car parking spaces, including one disabled bay and two electric vehicle charging points.

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