People can now have their say on future development policy in East Boldon
Families and businesses have the rest of the month to have their say on a new development policy in South Tyneside.
Public consultation has started on the East Boldon Neighbourhood Plan, a new document to try and shape which projects will be given the go ahead in the village over the coming years.
And the brains behind the scheme hope that as well as protecting the natural environment it will ensure new buildings are ‘sympathetic’ and improve transport links.
“A big part of East Boldon is greenbelt and we’re very keen to protect that,” said Dave Hutchinson, secretary of the East Boldon Neighbourhood Forum, which has been working on the neighbourhood plan.
“In the council’s draft Local Plan they were proposing significant incursions into the greenbelt to build new housing – 950 new homes are proposed in the East Boldon Area.”
Mr Hutchinson insists however the group is not opposed to all development which, under the terms of South Tyneside Council’s draft Local Plan, a separate planning document covering the whole of the borough, could pave the way for about 7,000 new homes by 2036.
The East Boldon Neighbourhood Plan calls on builders to ‘minimise the loss of greenfield sites and maximise the use of brown field sites to prevent the loss of Green Belt’.
And there is also backing for plans to build almost 250 properties at Cleadon Lane Industrial Estate.
He added: “We’re not saying no new housing in East Boldon, we’re saying new housing development should be limited to brownfield sites.
“That should give 200-300 new homes, which is proportional to the population of East Boldon, compared to the rest of the borough.”
While the two draft policies may leave the village at loggerhead with borough bosses, one has ‘whole heartedly’ given it her backing.
Cleadon and East Boldon councillor Joan Atkinson, who is also the council’s cabinet member for area management and community safety said: “[These are] people who have volunteered their time, experience and expertise to draw together a robust plan for East Boldon.
“We’re also opposed to greenbelt development, however the problem is with the national government giving us a housing formula which must be applied.”