South Tyneside Council and local residents object to new housing development

South Tyneside Council has opposed plans for a major housing development as it is deemed to be an important environmental site.

A planning application has been submitted to Gateshead Council by Gentoo Homes to build 30 homes in Bill Quay on land next to Gullane Close and Marian Drive.

Bill Quay residents proposed housing development protest.'From left Liz Gibson and Caroline Wilson

Bill Quay residents proposed housing development protest.'From left Liz Gibson and Caroline Wilson

The application was submitted in November 2017 and followed an earlier application for 30 houses which was withdrawn in March 2017.

The proposal for the site which lies close to the boundary of South Tyneside, has been opposed by South Tyneside Council due to environmental and wildlife concerns.

A South Tyneside Council spokeswoman said: “The planning proposal refers to the development of land within the borough boundary of Gateshead Council.

“South Tyneside Council was consulted on the application as the site lies close to the boundary of South Tyneside.

Bill Quay residents proposed housing development protest.

Bill Quay residents proposed housing development protest.

“We have objected to the proposal as the land is considered to be important in terms of its biodiversity interest, providing an important link between two designated wildlife corridors that cross through these borough boundaries.

“However, this is ultimately a matter for Gateshead Council to determine.”

A public consultation was held with residents late last year which included letters sent to homes in the area and site notices.

During the consultation many residents raised concerns over the increased amount of traffic which would need to access the site and the affect on the wildlife corridor.

Bill Quay residents proposed housing development protest with Council planning committee

Bill Quay residents proposed housing development protest with Council planning committee

Ahead of a decision being made by the Planning and Development Committee at a meeting on Wednesday, May 30, a site inspection was carried out by Gateshead Council Planning and Development Committee members.

Residents opposing the development also took the opportunity to protest and carried banners highlighting their concerns.

Judith Hudson, who lives on Marian Drive, was one of the coordinators of the protest, along Rob Storey.

She said the streets that would be affected, should it go ahead, are; Station Road, Brack Terrace, Davidson Road, Brunton Way, Marian Drive and Gullane Close.

Bill Quay residents proposed housing development protest with Council planning committee

Bill Quay residents proposed housing development protest with Council planning committee

She said: “The development would affect so many people.

“More than 500 houses are accessed by one entrance and around 600 people live in the area already.

“Nearly 400 people have signed a petition against the plans and we know that it would be hugely problematic in terms of increased traffic and the wildlife corridor.”

Gentoo Homes say that they have taken on feedback from residents while developing the scheme.

Anthony Lowther, managing director of Gentoo Homes said: “We pride ourselves on being a responsible housing developer.
“We have taken all of the feedback from local residents on board whilst carefully developing this scheme.

“This is in addition to commissioning independent specialists to carry out ecology and highway surveys relating to the residents’ concerns.”

Bill Quay residents proposed housing development protest.

Bill Quay residents proposed housing development protest.

A Gateshead Council spokeswoman said: “At the meeting of Planning and Development Committee on May 9 and after hearing representations from local residents, ward councillors and the MP, the members of the committee decided that they would benefit from visiting the site to view the circumstances of the application on the ground before making a decision as to whether to grant planning permission.

“This site visit was undertaken yesterday morning (May 24) and allowed the councillors to view the site and its surroundings.

“The application will now be reported back to the next meeting of the Planning and Development Committee on May 30, where it is anticipated that a decision will be made.”

Bill Quay residents proposed housing development protest.

Bill Quay residents proposed housing development protest.