Neighbours fearful at fresh bid to build homes on former army camp

IN THEIR SIGHTS ...residents near the disused army camp in Mill Lane, Whitburn, have concerns about a re-submitted application to build 42 homes on the site.

IN THEIR SIGHTS ...residents near the disused army camp in Mill Lane, Whitburn, have concerns about a re-submitted application to build 42 homes on the site.

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OPPONENTS of plans for a luxury housing development at a rifle range are aiming to shoot-down the controversial bid.

People living close to the now-disused army camp in Mill Lane, Whitburn, have expressed concern at a re-submitted application to build 42 homes on the site.

The bid from Sunderland-based Bett Homes is for the demolition of the camp buildings and construction of the two to five-bedroom properties.

Members of the council’s Planning Committee will be advised to approve the application when they meet on Monday.

But many residents are unhappy that the application site not only covers the former Ministry of Defence buildings – but also encroaches onto Green Belt areas of the ranges themselves.

Further concerns centre on the management of surface water drainage on the site, the replacement of single storey buildings with two storey ones, a shortage of school places in the area, the removal of trees, additional traffic congestion on the coast and the potential danger that presents to schoolchildren.

The developer had previously submitted an application for 48 houses, which was refused by the Planning Committee earlier this year. The new bid has been designed to meet the concerns that led to its rejection, including uncertainty regarding the disposal of surface water.

One of the objectors, Alan Kynoch, of nearby Marina Terrace, said he feared the application was a “done deal”.

He added: “My principle objection is the erosion of Green Belt land. Basically, this is the thin end of the wedge.”

The Planning Committee is to meet in the council chamber at South Shields Town Hall from 10am on Monday. Members of the public can attend.