Traditional South Shields laundrette set to become flat as demand wanes

A South Shields laundrette is set to be transformed into a two-bedroom flat following a decision by borough development chiefs.

Back in August, 2022, South Tyneside Council’s planning department registered an application for ‘The Laundrette’ at 81 Broughton Road.

This included a bid to see if prior approval was needed to change the use of the ground floor from a laundrette to a residential dwelling.

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According to the planning application, the plans aim to provide a “high-quality dwelling house” with a “bright and spacious two-bedroom flat complete with family bathroom, utility room and well-presented kitchen”.

The Laundrette. Picture c/o Google Streetview.

As part of the plans, changes to the exterior of the building were proposed including moving the main entrance from Broughton Road to South Woodbine Street and works to create new windows.

After considering the application and assessing it against planning policies, South Tyneside Council’s planning department granted prior approval on September 23, 2022.

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A decision report prepared by council planners noted no objections had been raised by key council consultees, including highways and environmental protection.

In addition, council planners concluded the external alterations would be “acceptable in relation to the appearance of the host property and in relation to local visual amenity”.

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The planning decision report by officers adds that: “Demand for launderettes has waned over time and it is not considered that the loss of this one would be undesirable or that there would be a reasonable prospect of the use continuing, given waning demand and economic / market factors that would make its continuation extremely challenging, if not impossible, in the context of it being commercially viable.

“Furthermore, there are other launderette services available in the wider South Shields area”.

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The submitted planning application also acknowledged the laundrette facility would be lost as a result of the proposals, adding alternative provision would be available on Dean Road around one mile away from the site.

Under planning conditions linked to the prior approval, the housing conversion at 81 Broughton Road must take place within three years.

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For more information on the scheme, visit South Tyneside Council’s online planning portal and search reference: ST/0600/22/PNCU