Controversial homes get go-ahead - despite 750-name petition

Residents collected a 750-name petition to block the beauty spot housing plans.
Residents collected a 750-name petition to block the beauty spot housing plans.
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A CONTROVERSIAL plan for luxury townhouses in a South Tyneside village has been agreed – despite a 750-name petition opposing it.

The council’s planning committee yesterday approved an application from Stella Property Investments, to build five executive townhouses, off Church Lane in Whitburn.

I think it is a good design

Coun Mark Walsh

The bid raised the hackles of many village residents, who claimed the contemporary design was “out of character” with the area.

Concerns were also raised over the impact on trees and traffic congestion.

Three environmental groups, the Campaign to Protect Rural England, the North of England Civic Trust and Historic England, also raised objections to the scheme.

Despite the weight of opposition the application did have some support, in particular from nearby Whitburn Cricket Club.

Today the decision was condemned by one of the campaign leaders, Chris Storey, who lives close to the development site.

He said: “It is very sad. The three councillors for Whitburn were against it, but the rest of the borough councillors said yes. The views of the people of Whitburn have been disregarded. This decision represents village vandalism.”

Coun Mark Walsh said: “Whatever was going to be built there was always going to lead to an issue with traffic and I think that, from the information we have seen, the traffic issues have largely been addressed.

“In terms of the design of the building I personally don’t have a concern with the contemporary design.

“If you look through Whitburn Village there have been different types of formats of building built over the years. I do think it’s a good design.”