South Shields multiple occupancy homes plan welcomed

The building in Former Street
The building in Former Street

Plans for an 11-bed house of multiple occupation in the centre of South Shields could help freshen up the area, says Gazette readers.

South Tyneside Council has received a planning application to convert the upper floors of a former office in Fowler Street.

The plans were submitted just weeks after town hall chiefs agreed to launch an investigation into houses in multiple occupation (HMO) as part of a drive to improve housing standards and tenant safety.

Councillors were told that despite the number of private HMOs in the borough being relatively low, they could still have an impact in a particular area due to issues with quality and management.

While council planners cannot enforce a blanket ban on HMOs, permitted development rights can be withdrawn in certain areas to limit numbers.

The council will accept comments on the Fowler Street plans until March 22.

Despite the ongoing investigation, Gazette readers have few concerns about the plan.

David Barber took to our Facebook oage to say: “Making the upper floors of King Street into accommodation would be a good idea.”

Stephen Scott Thompson added: “It would be better than a closed shop and at least 11 people will be walking around in the town centre.”

Mandy Jameson wrote: “Houses of multiple occupancy are needed in South Shields especially around the college.

“Students need affordable accommodation to come here otherwise companies will stop using our college, training services and businesses.

“It’s the councils job to ensure they are planned and maintained appropriately.”

Darren Batchelor said: “I’ve got no issue. It’s better than empty buildings. A lot of town’s are heading this way.”

Valerie Nichol added: “Anything is better than the mess the place is now. Do more of this - as long as it is looked after properly.”