It’s time for residents to show opposition again

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I WAS surprised and very disappointed to discover from last week’s News Guardian that Taylor-Wimpey is to appeal against the rejection of their 200 luxury homes planning application for the land adjacent to Earsdon Road, Whitley Bay.

The hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, December 6, at The Quadrant, Silverlink.

Local residents opposed this unnecessary and unwanted development successfully earlier this year and it is time, once again, for them to show their opposition by making it their business to attend the hearing.

There is no need for the housing proposed for the area – just look at the property pages in this newspaper for unsold properties in Northumberland Park, Beaumont Park, Redhouse Farm and West Monkseaton.

This fact was recognised when the original application was rejected. What was also recognised was the impact on local wildlife the development would cause.

Even the environmental impact study commissioned by the developer recognised the existence of protected species such as water vole and even otters in the area – something even I hadn’t expected to see.

The other reason the original plan was rejected was on the basis of traffic-congestion. It is a simple formula: 200 luxury homes = at least 100 to 200 new cars each day trying to access the Earsdon Road dual carriageway or Monkseaton Drive.

These roads are dangerously choked to capacity now and the access to Wellfield Estate and the Beacon and Sainsbury’s roundabouts are very difficult and often dangerous as things stand now. This can only get worse with more cars in the neighbourhood.

Our children are affected too – there are four schools within half a mile of the proposed development and the extra traffic the development will bring can only make things worse.

The choice for local residents is clear: Do and say nothing and we face the real prospect of more traffic congestion, more dangerous roads, more air pollution, more urban sprawl and the permanent loss of clean, open space. The land concerned is precious open green space with diverse wild-life habitats and waterways that will be lost forever, and what residents need to ask themselves is, are we prepared to sleep-walk into another exercise of corporate greed and short-termism at the expense of the unspoilt environment we and our children have enjoyed for years and years?

DAVID ANDERSON

West Monkseaton