Builder out to overturn rejection of estate plans

A DEVELOPER is refusing to abandon its plans for a huge new housing estate at West Monkseaton despite being given the thumbs-down by planners.

Building firm Taylor Wimpey is appealing against North Tyneside Council’s rejection of its application for outline planning consent for 200 four-bedroom houses on former opencast land off Earsdon Road.

A planning inquiry to decide on its appeal will be held on Tuesday at the council’s Cobalt Business Park headquarters at North Shields.

Members of the public are invited to attend and express their views.

The Buckinghamshire-based builder’s application for planning permission was turned down by the council’s planning committee in June despite council officials having recommended it for approval.

The reasons given by councillors for rejecting the application were that the development went against various planning policies, would lead to an increase of traffic on the A192 and would result in the loss of greenfield land.

The site – close to West Monkseaton’s Sainsbury’s store, South Wellfield First School and Wellfield Middle School – takes in three fields bordered by Earsdon Road to the south, more fields to the north, Earsdon to the west and North Ridge and Westgate Close to the east.

It is currently used for car boot sales and as an occasional venue for travelling circus shows.

A sweetener of £5m was on offer to the council in return for planning consent.

That was to be made up of £3m to pay for off-site affordable housing, just over £1m to pay for the extra school facilities required by the 100-plus school-age children forecast to live at the development and £910,00 to cover the cost of highways works including the provision of new traffic signals and a toucan crossing.

The application sparked 21 letters of complaint after it was submitted to the council in February.

Among the grounds for objections raised were loss of green belt, increased pressure on the schools nearby, visual intrusion and potential for causing traffic jams on the A192.

Many potential neighbours of the site remain opposed to Taylor Wimpey’s plans.

One of those against it, David Anderson, of West Monkseaton, said: “There is no need for the housing proposed. This fact was recognised when the original application was rejected.

“The land concerned is precious open green space, with diverse wildlife habitats and waterways, that would be lost for ever.”

Tuesday’s Planning Inspectorate inquiry starts at 10am.