Residents lose ‘right to light’ appeal over new-build near South Shields riverside

The development site at Lady's Walk. Inset, Coun Gladys Hobson.
The development site at Lady's Walk. Inset, Coun Gladys Hobson.

A new apartment block providing homes for older people is to be built near South Shields riverside – despite concerns it would take away residents’ ‘right to light’.

South Tyneside Council’s Housing Ventures and the Galliford Try Partnership, alongside Leeds-based development company Tully, were granted permission by the council’s planning committee this week to build the four-storey apartment block on land at Lady’s Walk, beside River Drive.

Coun Gladys Hobson.

Coun Gladys Hobson.

The decision came despite people living in nearby Claypit Lane expressing fears over the scale of the development, amid concern it would obscure their views.

After objections were raised, Tully submitted an amended scheme, lowering the number of apartments from 52 to 50 and also reducing the building’s mass and scale.

Committee member Gladys Hobson said: “It was a difficult decision and we have great sympathy for the residents, but the developer had agreed to reduce the size of the building a little bit and reduce the impact on Lady’s Walk.

“The objections were not on planning grounds, and if it had gone to appeal we would almost certainly have lost, and that would have cost a lot of money.

It was a difficult decision

Coun Gladys Hobson

“The other issue is that we do desperately need properties for older people and this development meets that need.”

One of the objectors in Lady’s Walk said residents were “very disappointed” at the decision, adding: “We can’t understand why they could not build this on the other side of River Drive.

“Light to our homes is at a premium already because of the trees. This is going to make things much worse.

“It is going to make a quiet walkway into a busy thoroughfare.”