70-plus homes set to be built on old sports field

A CONTROVERSIAL planning application for more than 70 houses in Wallsend has been granted by councillors in North Tyneside.

The former sports ground at Kings Road South will be developed into a housing estate with 79 dwellings with associated access, roadways, parking and landscaping provision.

The proposals were met with objections from nearby residents, who did not want to see the land that is used by them for walks.

Letters of objection to the proposals suggested that development of the site would change the nature of the area, stated that the site is well used and a valued area for informal recreation and that more houses were not need in Wallsend.

A total of 159 letters of objection were received and ahead of the decision a campaign group was set up in opposition.

But when councillors came to making a decision there was just one vote in it, with nine councillors voting for the development, and eight against it.

A similar development was proposed 14 years ago, but the application was ‘called in’ by the Secretary of State, who then refused the application.

The current development, by Bellway Homes, will see more than £300,000 invested into the area.

A figure £85,000 will go towards off site highway improvements, £20,000 towards the provision and maintenance of an off site public footpath between the site and Wallsend Civic Hall Grounds.

A further £207,000 will be divided between the provision of a new rugby pitch, the management and maintenance of existing sports facilities, children’s equipped play facilities, two new allotment plots and employment and training.

Within the 79 properties, 20 will form part of the affordable homes scheme and all of the properties are two storeys apart from four bungalows.

In a report to the council from planning officers concluded that there were significant benefits to bringing the site forward for housing development, and that the scheme meets an identified housing need, provides for an identified deficiency in rugby provision and makes efficient use of a site that has stood vacant for 14 years.