Earlier this week (Tuesday, July 13), South Tyneside Council registered an application with its own planning authority for the three-storey building off Prince George Square.
The application included prior notification to demolish the building and return the site to grassed land with a timber fence around the perimeter.
In a statement, South Tyneside Council has confirmed that the demolition plans aim to create a ‘suitable site’ for residential development near the town centre.
However, the local authority has stressed that any future housing scheme would be subject to planning permission being approved and consultation held involving local businesses and residents.
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A South Tyneside Council spokesperson told the Gazette: “Earlier this year, we were awarded almost £6 million in Future High Streets funding which will allow us to create sites to enable new development within walking distance of the town centre.
“Our plan is to demolish the former library and create a site suitable for residential redevelopment.
“Increasing the residential population will mean increased footfall for the town – more people spending time and money, using services and supporting businesses to create a sustainable future for South Shields.
“Any future redevelopment would require planning permission and we will consult with local businesses and residents as plans begin to be developed.”
The former South Shields Central Library site is no longer needed by the council following the opening of the state-of-the-art cultural facility The Word in October 2016.
According to the recently-submitted demolition application, the old South Shields Central Library is “surplus to requirements and is to be demolished to clear the area for future redevelopment projects.”
The application also aims to determine whether prior approval is needed for the method of demolition and any proposed restoration of the site.
Subject to final details being agreed, the demolition work is then expected to take place between November 2021 and the end of March 2022.
For more information on the demolition plans, visit South Tyneside Council’s online planning portal and search reference: ST/0708/21/DEM