Storm damage repairs approved for Grade II-listed centuries-old 'White House' in Westoe Village, South Shields

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Proposals to repair “extensive storm damage” and safeguard the future of a Grade II-listed heritage building and home have been given the green light.

Back in September, 2022, South Tyneside Council’s planning department registered an application for ‘The White House’ in the heart of Westoe Village.

The building is believed to date back to the late 1700s, and has retained many of its original period features including decorative coving, high ceilings and windows with unique ‘lattice’ tracery.

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Following storm damage in early 2022, a planning application for listed building consent was submitted to borough development chiefs seeking permission for repairs.

The White House, Westoe Village. Picture c/o Google StreetviewThe White House, Westoe Village. Picture c/o Google Streetview
The White House, Westoe Village. Picture c/o Google Streetview

New plans aimed to replace a collapsed chimney and tiles where it fell, as well as new guttering, internal repairs to the ceiling due to chimney damage and works to other areas of the site.

This included repairs to the main building to “prevent further deterioration” of structural elements, including some floor structures.

As originally submitted, works were also proposed to a garden building but the application was subsequently amended to remove these works.

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After assessing the amended planning application against planning policies, South Tyneside Council’s planning department approved it on October 25, 2022.

A planning decision report deemed the proposals acceptable and confirmed no objections had been raised by the council’s historic environment officer.

The council decision report adds: “The proposed scheme consists of rebuilding the easternmost chimney and re-roofing the single storeyelement’s roof, and installing new guttering and rainwater pipes.

“The following internal works are also proposed: repairs to the lath and plaster ceiling, stabilisation of the lintels to the front elevation which are bowing [and] stabilisation of the upper floors which are bowing.

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“The works are required for two reasons. Firstly, some of the structural elements to the main house are suffering with age and consequently lintels and floor joists are severely bowing.

“Secondly, the building suffered extensive storm damage in 2022 and this caused the chimney to collapse, the tiled roof to fall off and then subsequently caused internal ceiling damage.

“Furthermore, sections of guttering and rainwater pipe are missing, and the remaining elements are in poor condition.”

Council planners, in their report, added the works would not impact the “significance of the listed building, the residential amenity of any neighbouring properties, or the visual amenity of the area”.

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It was also noted the works would “contribute to the upkeep of the building, and therefore result in a positive impact upon the visual amenity of the area”.

Listing information for The White House on Historic England’s website states it was originally two houses, with number 17 built in circa 1768 and number 18 in circa 1796.

The buildings were believed to have been united in circa 1895 to form one house through the addition of ground and first floor corridors across the rear.

An appraisal of the Westoe Conservation Area by South Tyneside Council states the building is formed from “two of the oldest and most unusual houses in the conservation area”.

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Under planning conditions, the approved scheme of repair works must be carried out within three years.

For more information on the planning application, visit South Tyneside Council’s online planning portal and search reference: ST/0699/22/LBC