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South Tyneside Council is accused of ignoring over 1,000 people

Housing plans on a former industrial site in South Shields have been given the green light – despite concerns from campaigners and the Port of Tyne. This week, South Tyneside Council ‘s Planning Committee were asked to rule on plans for a huge riverside housing development in the Holborn area. The hybrid application included full planning permission for phase one residential development for 48 dwellings and outline planning permission for around 300 homes across phases two and three.

However, the phase one proposals sparked opposition from neighbours due to plans to build over a play park and green space between Laygate Street and Commercial Road. Locals have staged several demonstrations to raise awareness of the plans in recent months, with more than 1,000 people also signing a petition in an attempt to save the green space for future generations. Although applicant Keepmoat Homes Ltd reduced the number of homes on the site and proposed a replacement play park, campaigners have called for phase one of the scheme to go back to the drawing board.

At a crunch meeting to decide the application on Monday (November 22), objectors outlined their concerns to the council’s Planning Committee and criticised a consultation exercise carried out by the developer. Campaigner Leyla Al-Sayadi suggested the housing plans were a “done deal” and clashed with the council’s “so-called climate emergency.” She said: “That [Keepmoat] questionnaire was a tick box exercise for a predetermined planning application that they were going to put through which is nothing more than a shambolic pretence of democracy.”

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Holborn campaigners at South Shields Town Hall