Whitburn residents protest over homes plans

SPEAKING OUT ... residents of Church Lane, Whitburn, are concerned about a developer's proposals.
SPEAKING OUT ... residents of Church Lane, Whitburn, are concerned about a developer's proposals.
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A COMMUNITY has called on a developer to make changes to a housing plan they fear will harm their village.

More than 30 residents gathered in Whitburn to discuss Stella Property Investments’ plans to build five contemporary, executive town houses off Church Lane.

It will erode our heritage and it is incongruous to our area.

John Shield, Whitburn resident

While they back housing on the plot, they say the terrace design will erode the heritage of the area and its conservation area.

A representative of the firm, which is working with Fitz Architects on the designs submitted to South Tyneside Council, was on hand to discuss the project.

Concerns raised during the session at the Barnes Institute included the disturbance contractors will cause, the additional traffic in the area and a lack of school places for any children in the village. They are also against the look of the homes, which would be three-storeys high.

A letter from English Heritage to planning officers also sets out how the chance to enhance the conservation area has been missed, and while it would like to see the neglected land redeveloped, it says it cannot back the plans because of the impact it will have, with the row of terraces and its form a concern.

John Shield, warden of the parish church, said: “The message from the meeting was we need to make a protest and make our views known and heard.

“It will erode our heritage and it is incongruous to our area.”

Stella Property Investment has said it is disappointed there is negativity surrounding the scheme and says it is following the council’s planning protocol.

Twitter: @ shieldsgazette