Hundreds of homes and a new store will be built on the former Hawthorn Leslie shipyard site in Hebburn after plans are approved

South Tyneside Council’s Planning Committee voted this week to approve a planning application for the former Hawthorn Leslie Court in Hebburn.

According to new plans from Hebburn Riverside Developments Ltd, the remaining buildings on the site will be demolished to make way for 446 new homes, with a mix of 407 flats and 39 houses.

The aftermath of a fire at the former Hawthorn Leslie office buildings in Ellison Street, Hebburn.

The apartments will be spread over several blocks, with 12 studios, 130 one-bedroom apartments and 265 two-bedroom apartments, as well as five three-bed houses, seven four-bed houses and 27 five-bed houses.

An apartment block adjacent to the River Tyne would be 11 storeys and house 90 apartments as well as a restaurant on the ground floor.

Plans also include a convenience store, indoor community meeting space, multi-storey parking, common green spaces and new vehicle access.

When consulting on the plans, proponents of the project said the site was an “eye-sore” and would benefit from development, including the delivery of new homes and wider economic benefits.

A previously released CGI showing what the new development might look like.

However, the plans have also drawn criticism with around 24 objection letters raising concerns over a range of issues, from the scale of the development to increased pressure on local schools and health services.

This included concerns about loss of employment land and potential future restrictions on A&P Tyne’s business activities due to noise complaints from future neighbors living in flats and houses.

Those behind the development have insisted that the housing plan will not restrict any future expansion – with design changes being made to elements of the project to help preserve the amenity of future residents.

A previously released CGI showing what the new development might look like.

Arguments for and against the housing plan were made at a planning hearing at South Shields Town Hall on Monday September 5.

Representatives from A&P Tyne questioned whether the site had been marketed effectively for employment purposes and said the new accommodation was ‘at the expense of jobs’.

Elsewhere, project developers have said the housing plan will include green features as well as the creation of internships, the safeguarding of existing habitats on the site and the reactivation of long-vacant land.

Arguments have also been made that development of the former industrial site would reduce pressure for developments on the borough’s green belt.

South Tyneside Council planning officers found the housing scheme to be broadly acceptable and recommended it for approval, conditionally.

This included reaching a Section 106 deal securing around £2million from the developers for Hebburn and Jarrow Primary Schools, motorway improvement works, green improvements and other matters.

While noting ‘disappointment’ at the ‘low level’ of affordable housing on offer due to ‘viability constraints’, council planners said the benefits of the scheme would not be outweighed by the ‘resulting harm’.

During the debate over the plans, Councilor Wilf Flynn raised concerns about the level of affordable housing on offer, future noise complaints, and the impact on A&P’s business operations.

Councilor Paul Dean raised concerns about accessibility and the “drastic” levels of the site, in addition to asking if the site would be serviced by buses.

Councilor Geraldine Kilgour also noted the large amount of development in the area and said the developer’s Section 106 funds should “remain in Hebburn”.

Cllr Kilgour, moving to approve the application, added that the development’s use of former employment land would help ‘mitigate the impact on our green spaces’.

In response to questions from planning committee members, council officers confirmed that the viability case for the scheme had been independently confirmed and that the development would initially be able to support 1% affordable housing.

Council officials said measures had been taken to limit potential future noise complaints and that the scale of the project was not a planning issue, given the larger developments on the other side of the river. River Tyne at Newcastle.

After being put to a vote, the development request was approved by a majority of councilors, with Cllr Paul Dean and Cllr Wilf Flynn voting against.

Following the decision, planning permission is now subject to the completion of the Section 106 agreement and other matters, including some highway works being finalized with national highways.

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