South Shields home plan set for rejection over crime fears

Controversial plans for a house in multiple occupation (HMO) in South Tyneside are set to be rejected over crime fears.

Coun Geraldine Kilgour
Coun Geraldine Kilgour

Earlier this year, South Tyneside Council’s Planning Committee discussed an application for a property in Seafield Terrace, South Shields.

This included a bid to designate one property – number 6 – as a six-bedroom HMO and the second property – 6A – as a two-person residential property.

Seafield Terrace, South Shields

Applicant and social landlord, Tyne Housing Association, has used the site since 2010 providing rooms for vulnerable adults who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

A meeting was called after council officers discovered the HMO was “unauthorised for planning purposes” following anti-social behaviour complaints.

While planners originally recommended the HMO for approval, the plans were put on hold after councillors raised concerns about the type of support being offered.

This included Coun Geraldine Kilgour who said she wasn’t satisfied that the HMO was in the “right place for the community.”

On Monday, the plans will return to South Shields Town Hall for a final decision.

Following new crime data from Northumbria Police, planners have now called for the HMO to be refused.

A report, prepared for councillors, states a large number of crime and anti-social behaviour incidents have been associated with residents and visitors to the site between June 2010 and the end of 2018.

According to the report there is a “fear of crime”  linked to the site which council officers argue “undermines the quality of life within the local community.”

They also state evidence shows the use of the site is “both unneighbourly and out of character with the immediate area.”

While planners admit the house is physically capable of being converted into a HMO and self-contained flat, they argue it clashes with several planning policies.

The report adds: “The wider public need for this particular type of facility in a residential setting is acknowledged, but this is insufficient to outweigh the particular harm caused, over many years, by the operation of this site.”

A petition signed by residents of 13 neighbouring properties on Seafield Terrace also objects to the plans over crime and noise fears.

The meeting starts at 10.30am.

No-one was available for comment from Tyne Housing Association

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Chris Binding , Local Democracy Reporting Service