Church members hit out at luxury town house plans in Whitburn

Churchwarden John Shield, right, with other Whitburn residents opposed to the building of town houses near their church.

Churchwarden John Shield, right, with other Whitburn residents opposed to the building of town houses near their church.

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PARISHIONERS have hit out at “dangerous” plans to create six luxury homes close to their church.

Stella Property Investments and Fitz Architects hope to build six contemporary executive town houses in Church Lane, next to Whitburn Parish Church.

Members of the church today argued that the village is too small to house such a development and that it will increase traffic congestion.

About 40 people attended a recent meeting at the village’s cricket club where residents raised concerns about the proposals with the directors behind the scheme.

Bosses from Stella disagree, saying that the site has been left derelict for years and work will be carried out to restore historical stonework and safeguard a 16th Century Tithe Barn wall as part of the plans.

They added that the rectory garden area which will become a pleasant communal area for the new residents.

Whitburn Parish Church warden John Shield says that 90 per cent of people who attended the cricket club meeting are set against the plans and have vowed to fight them tooth and nail.

“Most of the residents would’ve been happy for one or maybe two homes, but six will create a dangerous and chaotic situation.

“The parking area will be next to a narrow road which is only 3.5metres in some places.

“Children, bikers and walkers use it and the fact that there will be 18 cars is going to cause an absolutely huge congestion problem for the village.

“There’s only a small pavement on the side of the road and it will become a dangerous hazard for the people of Whitburn.

Mr Shield added: “We would’ve supported the plans if they had been for one family house, but six houses with five bedrooms in the middle of what is a conservation area is too much.”

A spokesman for Stella said that the plans will provide a huge improvement to the area, not detract from any existing homes and increase the stock of executive homes which is in “short supply” in Whitburn.

He added: “Stella Property Investments are committed to producing a development to enhance the locality and will continue to promote the positive aspects of the scheme.”

A consultation over the plans, which can be viewed on South Tyneside Council’s planning website, ends on Friday, August 1.

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