Whitburn residents given chance to have their say on future of the village

Ellen Bekker, Whitburn Neighbourhood Forum treasurer, with chairman Phil Leaf.
Ellen Bekker, Whitburn Neighbourhood Forum treasurer, with chairman Phil Leaf.

Residents in Whitburn are being urged to have their say on a plan which will set out how the village will develop and thrive over the next 20 years.

Whitburn Neighbourhood Forum (WNF) - which was set up to give residents a chance to influence the future planning developments in the area - has taken the first steps to creating a neighbourhood plan based on the feedback received from people in the village during the last six months.

During the consultations residents and businesses told the forum what key issues are important to them and what concerns they have about Whitburn.

Such feedback has seen residents want more affordable homes to be built rather than executive housing.

The committee has now translated these issues into a vision for Whitburn and nine objectives for the neighbourhood plan.

A neighbourhood plan vision is a description of what the residents want the neighbourhood area to be like 20 years into the future.

The vision and objectives provide the framework to develop policies and proposals, which is the next step of writing the plan.

The neighbourhood plan policies are detailed requirements that any planning applications in Whitburn will have to follow.

Chairman of the Whitburn Neighbourhood Forum, Phil Leaf, from Shearwater, said: “It is important that the residents and businesses of Whitburn have their say on the vision and objectives, on which the policies will be based.

“For this purpose the committee will be delivering flyers to every home in Whitburn outlining the visions and objective; publishing them on the WNF website; organising community workshops and holding stakeholder meetings.”

A forum meeting for residents to have their say on the draft vision and objectives will be held on Friday, March 9, at 7.15pm at the Barnes Institute in Whitburn. All businesses and residents in Whitburn are welcome.

At the meeting, the owners of former pub the Whitburn Lodge will be telling residents what they plan to do with the site on Mill Lane and will be answering questions form the public.

The meeting will also be an opportunity to discuss the final version of South Tyneside Council’s Strategic Land Review (SLR) which will form part of the evidence base for the new local plan for the area.

The SLR does not allocate sites for development or set planning policy, but helps identify sites that could be developed over the next 20 years.