Housing, shops and cafe plans rejected for landmark Mecca bingo hall site

Former Mecca Bingo building
Former Mecca Bingo building
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Shouts of “house” have been silenced after plans to change a landmark bingo hall in South Tyneside into apartments were rejected.

An application had been made to South Tyneside Council for The Mecca bingo hall, in Dean Road, South Shields, to be turned into 56 apartments.

Mecca Bingo, Dean Road, South Shields

Mecca Bingo, Dean Road, South Shields

The plan was also to turn the ground floor into a gym, beauty salon, coffee shop and two other retail units.

The project was submitted by WardmanBrown on behalf of the applicant Dennis Harley Developments Ltd and planning officials recommended it be given the go-ahead.

However, the council’s planning committee has rejected the bid on the grounds that there would be too many issues with car parking.

The decision notice stated: “The proposal represents an over-development of the site and the level of on-site car and service vehicle parking, together with the restrictive nature of the site adjacent to Londonderry Hall, would not be adequate to meet demand and it would lead to vehicles manoeuvring in conflict with one another and spilling over from the site to the detriment of highway safety.”

The issue with vehicles was raised at a planning meeting held at Jarrow Town Hall in October.

Ten people wrote letters objecting to the conversion plan - including residents of both Dean Road and Imeary Street.

They complained of various issues - including parking pressure - loss of privacy and noise disturbance during construction.

The Reserve Forces and Cadets Association for North of England also opposed the plan.

The cadets use the neighbouring Londonderry Hall and feared their training exercises and rifle range would lead to complaints from future residents.

The council’s road safety team also raised concerns about how residents’ parking - of which there would be 58 spaces - would be enforced and queried the lack of parking for visitors to the four businesses.

Dennis Harley Developments, said residents would be encouraged to use public transport rather than having their own cars.

The applicant argued that the conversion was “appropriate”, access to the site would be improved and the plan complied with current policy.

One objector said: “Parking is a major issue in this location with a busy roundabout, bus stop and illegal parking of vehicles along Dean Road.

“Retail units will add to this problem.”

Another said the roads would struggle to cope with the extra traffic generated by both the ne residents and visitors to the businesses.

No comment on the comittee decision was available from Dennis Harley Developments Ltd.