Beaches, history and landscape set to be protected under Whitburn plan
Protections for beaches, landscapes and historic parts of Whitburn could be written into a new development policy.
If approved at the end of the process, which will ultimately see it put to a public vote, the document could influence planning in the area for the next two decades.
Key policies so far include:
:: For housing to ‘fit in with the character of the village’ and avoid ‘negative impacts on the environment’
:: Protections for the village’s heritage assets, including non-registered features such as Whitburn Methodist Church and Whitburn Parish Hall, and for its ‘abundance of sensitive landscapes’
:: Guarantees on air quality
:: Requirements for developers to prove capacity in the sewage system before building, in order to protect beaches
While the Whitburn Neighbourhood Plan is being worked on, bosses at South Tyneside Council are also finalising their own Local Plan covering the whole of the borough.
Once approved, this is expected to pave the way for 7,000 new homes across South Tyneside by 2036.
And this may set a collision course with the Neighbourhood Plan, which has not allocated any land for the 397 properties assigned to Whitburn in the current version of the Local Plan, claiming there is ‘no support in the local community for the amount of housing proposed’.
Steve Lavelle, vice chairman of the Whitburn Neighbourhood Forum, the organisation leading development of the Neighbourhood Plan, has urged any family, business or other organisation with an opinion on the scheme to send in their comments before the deadline.
He said: “[We want to hear whether people think it’s a good idea, whether they think it will achieve anything, anything they think we’ve overlooked.
“We’re trying to reach as broad a spectrum as possible – there may be elements outside the community we have missed.”
Consultation on the Whitburn Neighbourhood Forum runs until midnight on Monday, February 7.