Future of Whitburn set for debate as 400 homes are planned for village's greenbelt land

A group which gives a village a voice in the planning process is set to meet this week to discuss the impact of housing plans proposed for greenbelt land.

Monday, 16th September 2019, 10:14 am
Updated Monday, 16th September 2019, 15:20 pm
Whitburn Lodge and its surrounding land is listed as a greenbelt site which could be used for housing under a plan now out for consultation by South Tyneside Council.

Whitburn Neighbourhood Forum will meet on Friday, September 20, to talk through views on the draft South Tyneside Local Plan, which suggests at least 397 homes could be built on five sites in the village up until 2036.

These are the Whitburn Lodge land and adjacent horses’ fields, land at the Charley Hurley Centre in Cleadon Lane, and on land between Wellands Lane and Lizards Lane.

The Draft Local Plan, which includes a policy to increase the number of detached homes in the area, is open for consultation until October 11, with the forum putting together its formal response.

It has said the village’s population stands at 5,298 with 2,545 dwellings, giving an average number of residents per house as 2.08.

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If the proposed homes were built, it projects another 825 residents would join the community, a 16% rise.

The spokesperson said: “Whitburn will be disproportionately affected by the loss of green belt and the development of new housing.

“In addition, it is expected that developers will want to build expensive, executive housing, instead of dwellings that meet the needs of the residents of Whitburn, such as starter homes and homes suitable for the elderly.

“The sites on Whitburn green belt are very attractive to developers as they will be able to maximise their profits by building large executive type houses.

“The council have declared a minimum requirement of 350 houses per year.

“The council proposes to release green belt land to ensure enough houses can be provided in the first five years of the plan period.

“The Whitburn sites are therefore likely to be among the first sites in the borough to be developed.”

The meeting will be held at 7.30pm in the main hall of the Methodist Chapel in North Guards. and comments can be sent to whitburnforum@gmail.com

The council can be contacted by emailing local.plan@southtyneside.gov.uk or via the online portal https://bit.ly/2k4aRNp.