Multi-million pound plans for dock site

An artist's impression of the Smith's Dock site in North Shields.
An artist's impression of the Smith's Dock site in North Shields.

PLANS to breathe new life into a former historic shipbuilding site will be put before North Tyneside Council next week.

London-based property group Places for People (PfP) has submitted a multi-million-pound plan to build 775 homes at Smith’s Dock, North Shields.

Also included in the proposals are an 80-bed hotel, shops and cafes.

Officers are recommending approval of the scheme, due to be discussed by the council’s planning committee on Tuesday.

A council report states: “The proposed development will have significant benefits in bringing this site into use providing a range of new houses, creating jobs both in the construction industry and in the commercial units and hotel, and improving the environment.

“It will create benefits in the wider area including to North Shields town centre.”

Smith’s Dock opened in 1851 and was a major part of the Tyne’s shipbuilding history.

It was later used as a ship repair yard before closing in the 1990s.

The site has been derelict for several years, but PfP has pledged to retain three former docks as a major element of the development.

Mary Parsons, executive director for business development at PfP, said: “Smith’s Dock is a major long term investment for Places for People because we believe it can not only provide much needed new homes, but also support wider economic regeneration in the area.

“It has the potential to bring hundreds of new homes, jobs, training and business opportunities for local people and supports both North Tyneside and Newcastle’s ambitions for the north Tyne bank.

“We want to transform this derelict site, using our experience of creating successful places to ensure a thriving future for North Shields and the wider North Tyneside area that also respects its rich history.”

PfP bought the site in 2007 and has already spent £20m on cleaning up the area.