South Shields £200million riverside revamp won’t solve town’s problems, say readers

An artirst's impression of the new �200m Holborn scheme
An artirst's impression of the new �200m Holborn scheme

A £200m plan to rejuvenate a prime stretch of South Tyneside’s riverside will not solve problems around retail, health and housing, Gazette readers have warned.

Readers took to social media to say the newly-announced plans could leave infrastructure – including schools - struggling to cope with hundreds of new residents.

But some did voice support for South Tyneside Council’s development proposals in the formerly industrial Holborn area of South Shields.

They said it may finally put the borough on a par with neighbouring North Tyneside when it comes to important riverside improvements.

Council chiefs want to build 400 houses and apartments, offices and cultural attractions on the 10.5-acre site of disused docks and brownfield land.

On Facebook, Mark Pinckney said: “At last. It always puzzles me how the north side is decades ahead of South Shields in terms of riverside redevelopment.

“Some riverside leisure developments would also be welcome. This is prime redevelopment land and could vastly improve South Shields.”

But Darren Wilkey wrote: “I don’t think any housing should be built and the entire land should be used for enterprise.

“This town will only be revived when unemployment and poverty are eradicated. To do this we need well paid jobs.

“The council wants more housing, as more housing means more council tax income!”

Joan Eggleston said quality hotel accommodation and affordable houses were needed, while Julie Hogg asked: “Which schools are all the hundreds of children the new housing will bring, going to attend?”

Elsie Manning argued that the current housing stock should be repaired first, while Chelsea Jade Boyack advised: “We need council houses not private homes.”

But Tom Martin declared: “How can there be so many people who look at every possible negative and fail to see any of the potential positives?

“Extra money brought into the area, more business, meaning more jobs, more people in town to use the shops and encourage more shops to come in, and more funding for the council from taxes that will help pay for things such as schools.

“It’s not like they will be destroying green belt land to build. The land is there doing nothing and this would be a great use for it.”