Plans rejected for new South Shields dance school over concerns for town centre

Plans for a new dance school in South Shields have been thrown out by council planners.

Monday, 4th November 2019, 4:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 5th November 2019, 10:46 am

In February, proposals were lodged for the Amna Buildings in Tudor Road.

According to planning documents, the school aimed to provide a range of classes to help improve fitness.

This included an initial customer base of adults and children and a long-term vision of attracting other health-related groups and the elderly.

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Amna Buildings, Tudor Road, South Shields. Picture c/o Google Streetview
Amna Buildings, Tudor Road, South Shields. Picture c/o Google Streetview

The planning bid also aimed to “change the use” of a building used by window manufacturing business.

South Tyneside Council’s planning authority refused the plans, stating the dance school clashed with several policies

Concerns included accessibility issues, the site’s out-of-centre location and lack of on-site parking.

According to a report, the applicant’s planning agent said 13 properties had been considered for the dance school with a mixture of edge-of-centre and out-of-centre locations.

However, no “sequential assessment” was provided to the council to show the applicant had looked at town centre locations in South Shields, Jarrow and Hebburn.

The test is used by planners to encourage a “town centre first approach’ for prospective developments.

A planning report reads: “As a consequence, it has also not been demonstrated that the proposals would not cause harm to the vitality and viability of South Shields town centre by the siting of a main town centre use outwith the town centre boundary.”

Proposals put forward for The Boldon Lad in Hedworth Lane, Jarrow, into a retail unit were rejected in August, with planners citing the “town centre first approach” and sequential testing among reasons.

The dance school plans were turned down by South Tyneside Council on Tuesday, October 29.

A decision report adds: “Alternative methods of transport have not been promoted as part of the proposal, with no cycle parking proposed; and no form of travel plan or initiatives to encourage the use of public transport to access the site.”