South Shields seafront apartment plans set for refusal

How the Water's Edge development would look
How the Water's Edge development would look

A major housing development on the site of a former pub is set to be turned down over the impact it will have South Shields seafront and wildlife.

Councillors in South Tyneside are being recommended to turn down plans to turn The Water’s Edge Pub – at Trow Lea – into a 23-apartment, three-storey apartment complex.

The Water's Edge pub

The Water's Edge pub

The plans – which include detached garage blocks, car parking, a detached bin store and vehicle access – have attracted more than 300 objections.

Council officers are recomending that the planning committee rejects the plans because of the visual impact on the foreshore area and Grade-II listed Trow Rock gun emplacement.

A report cites the “excessive height, scale and density and incongruous appearance” of the plans as a reason for rejection alongside impact it would have on wildlife areas, sites of special scientific interest and the lack of affordable housing.

A 21-apartment plan was originally lodged by the owner of the pub, Kevin Brogan, in November 2015 but was withdrawn in February 2016.

The second set of plans - designed by Houghton-based architect John Waugh - have since attracted opposition over the scale and location of the development.

South Tyneside Council leader, Coun Iain Malcolm, has objected to the proposals which he argues would clash with the council and National Trust’s “vision” for the foreshore area.

An statement published in a planning report, Coun Malcolm said: “The development will create a 24-hour living environment, with all the noise and light pollution associated with town centre living.

“The site is very much a tourist destination. I would contend that the land should be used to increase visitor footfall within the borough.

“I do not believe that creating residential living at this site is in keeping with the council’s objectives for this area.”

Civil engineer firm Fairhurst – who are representing the applicant - provided additional information to the council in support of the application in May.

They offered to pay £11,201 – £487 per property – to mitigate any impact on habitat and biodiversity and £10,000 for a “required redeployable CCTV camera”.

The applicants say “no adverse impact” would be caused to coastal views or the Trow Rock Platform.

The applicant statement concludes the proposals will “create a less cluttered and cohesive new development that is in keeping with the British tradition of promenade frontage seaside residential development”.

Members of the council’s planning committee will make the final decision on the plans on Tuesday, August 28 at South Shields Town Hall.

The meeting takes place at 10.30am.

To view the plans, go to www.southtyneside.gov.uk/planningexplorer and search ref ST/0740/16/FUL.

Architect John Waugh was not available for comment when contacted.

Chris Binding , Local Democracy Reporting Service