Families launch campaign to save South Shields park from plans to build dozens of homes

Families are joining forces to try and save a South Shields park.
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More than 350 homes could be built in the Holborn area of the town as part of a £200 million blueprint for regeneration and other building projects.

But the latest proposals have prompted anger after early versions of the plans suggested a popular green space and play area between Laygate Street and Commercial Road could be bulldozed to make way for more than 40 properties.

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“We don’t oppose the entire plan,” said mum-of-three Leyla Al-Sayadi, “but we oppose this part of it.

South Shields park, between Commercial Road and Laygate Street. Credit: Haleema MiahSouth Shields park, between Commercial Road and Laygate Street. Credit: Haleema Miah
South Shields park, between Commercial Road and Laygate Street. Credit: Haleema Miah

“It’s an important matter, people come from all over the borough to use this space.

“My oldest daughter is six and she knows about the plans because she heard me talking about it and started crying – we have to brace them for the worst.”

Leyla, who lives with her husband and three daughters in Commercial Road, started the campaign to save the park, which also includes a petition, with friend and neighbour Elaine Hassan.

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The pair plan to be at the park between 11-11.30am on Sunday (December 13) to answer questions from concerned families about the plans, while also complying with social distancing restrictions.

According to a letter sent to homes near the development area earlier this month (December), developers Keepmoat Homes and Cussins plan to build up to 355 properties in the area, between Windmill Hill and the Customs House.

A spokesman for Keepmoat Homes said: “Holborn Riverside has been identified by South Tyneside Council as a site for re-development and has been on their local masterplan for the last decade.

“Having been appointed as the development partner to deliver 355 new homes at the site, we aim to transform the disused docks and brownfield land into a living, working and entertainment quarter.

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“As part of the planning procedure, a public consultation is currently taking place in the form of a letter drop, providing residents and local businesses close to the site with an opportunity to share their views, discuss the proposals, or ask questions about the new development.

“The public consultation is very important to us and allows us to shape the site to address the community’s desires and concerns, enabling us to develop a site that integrates well.”

Visit www.facebook.com/groups/saveholbornriversidefield to find out more about the campaign.

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