Development finally passed

The former YMCA building at Whitley Bay.
The former YMCA building at Whitley Bay.

THE development of a sheltered housing scheme on a site with a troubled planning history has finally been given the go-ahead in Whitley Bay town centre.

The dilapidated former YMCA building off Grosvenor Drive is to be replaced by a development of 25 apartments for elderly residents after North Tyneside Council’s planning committee granted planning permission.

The site, which will be developed by McCarthy Stone Retirement Lifestyles Ltd, has in the past been subject to three failed planning applications as well as a public inquiry.

The previous proposals were rejected due to a number of reasons, including being out of character with the surrounding area and having insufficient car parking.

The new scheme, which is on a smaller scale, will include an additional four parking spaces over and above that required by the council’s highways department.

Four letters of objection were received, siting fears of parking problems in Grosvenor Drive, and loss of privacy and light to properties in Crescent Vale from a four-storey section of the building.

An objection was also received from Coun John O’Shea siting potential parking and traffic issues, while 12 letters were received in support of the development.

The majority of the committee voted to allow the application during a meeting last week, subject to a legal agreement that the developer pays a £212,100 contribution towards affordable housing within the borough.

It will also have to pay £12,100 towards health care facilities near the development and create a landscaping scheme for the west facing road embankment.

Separately, in response to Coun O’Shea’s concerns, it was agreed that the council’s parking team would be requested to re-examine the parking situation in west Grosvenor Drive, although this is not a condition of the development.