New homes on the way for former glassworks site in Whitburn

The site where planning permission has now been granted.
The site where planning permission has now been granted.

An eyesore former glassworks in the heart of a South Tyneside conservation area is to be demolished in a controversial project to turn the land into housing.

Residents and a council planning boss slammed the original design for three flat-top houses on the site of the defunct Crystal Creations business in North Guards, Whitburn.

Built in the 1960s, the industrial building is seen as an architectural anomaly amid the village’s mainly 18th and 19th Century properties.

But while its removal has been broadly welcomed, some residents claimed the new builds would overlook their homes and rob them of privacy.

South Tyneside Council’s historic planning officer dismissed the design, saying it failed to enhance the character or appearance of Whitburn Conservation Area – and recommended refusal.

Their objections forced the applicant – a Newcastle law company – back to the drawing board. Modified plans have now been approved by council planning chiefs.

In his original assessment, the planning officer said: “The design concept is unimaginative and does not respond adequately to the character of the area.”

The original proposal was for three properties with flat roofs constructed in red brick. The main points of contention focused on the inclusion of balconies. The amended scheme would remove the balconies and make internal layout and window changes.

In granting planning permission, the council has requested an archaeological assessment of the site, which once housed a blacksmith, amid concerns it may have medieval remains.