Vision set out for future development of Whitburn Village - now you can have your say
Clean beaches, affordable housing and protected landscapes are at the heart of a new development policy for Whitburn.
Consultation has now started on the latest version of the Whitburn Neighbourhood Plan, which is supposed to shape future development in the village and surrounding area.
And families are being urged to have their say now to influence the document, which is expected to be in place for at least two decades once approved.
“This is an opportunity for people to consider the whole of Whitburn, not just what they can see from their own front doors,” said Steve Lavelle, vice chairman of the Whitburn Neighbourhood Forum, the organisation leading the scheme.
“People should look at the plan and contribute now because could be the only chance they will get.
“We want to make a blueprint for Whitburn for the next 20 years – we might not benefit from it, but our children and grandchildren will benefit from a plan dictated by the residents themselves.”
Businesses and other organisations, such as Natural England and Northumbrian Water, are also expected to contribute to the consultation.
Another is South Tyneside Council, which is also currently working on its own South Tyneside Local Plan, setting development agendas for the borough as a whole.
The need for housing is expected to be a contentious issue as both documents reach completion.
But Lavelle insists the Neighbourhood Plan should give Whitburn’s families a chance to have their say in a bespoke policy for the village.
He added: “ We would rather have a Neighbourhood Plan where all the residents and people living and working in Whitburn can have a say, rather than things being foisted on us by the Local Plan.
Draft policies so far have called for mixture of housing types, including affordable options, with ‘high-quality design’ suited to the ‘character of the village’ and surrounding area.
And provisions have also been added calling for builders to prove there is enough capacity in the sewage system before starting construction to protect beaches.
Consultation on the Whitburn Neighbourhood Forum runs until midnight on Monday, February 7.