Anger over plans for homes at Tynemouth Station
Concerned residents have hit out at plans to build homes on vacant land next to the historic Tynemouth Station.
Station Developments Ltd have lodged a planning application with North Tyneside Council to build 69 homes in a five-storey block on vacant land at the south end of the station, east of the Metro line.
The original plan was for 80 homes in a seven storey complex but it was scaled down after protests.
However, residents say the latest scheme is too large and out of character with the surrounding area and will add to traffic and parking problems on already congested streets.
Other concerns include noise and disturbance during construction, loss of light for some properties, and the impact on trees and wildlife habitat.
A residents' action group is being set up to challenge the proposals with the backing of Tynemouth ward councillor Lewis Bartoli who said: "The scale and the style are completely misplaced.'
"I am totally opposed to the proposed building in its current form. It is a six-storey wall of modern apartments in the heart of a Victorian seaside village.
"The development is totally devoid of adequate parking and will cause huge pressures on our already busy and congested roads.''
The new homes would be a mixture of townhouses and apartments. There would be a 46 space basement car park for residents, cycle parking, and public realm improvements. Two retail units, for food and beverages, are proposed.
A 65 space car park for traders using the weekend station market is planned on vacant land at the north end of the station, east of the Metro line, which would be open to members of the public Monday to Friday.
Concerns include loss of amenity for residents living on both sides of the Metro line, including Kingswood Court to the east, and Birtley Avenue and Horsley Terrace to the west.
Josey Chapman, of Kingswood Court residents, said the block would overshadow their homes: "There's a lot of opposition and we'll be making the strongest possible representations to the council urging them to reject the scheme.
"For some people, it would mean permanent loss of light. It's heartbreaking, I had an elderly lady knocking on my door in tears. It's so unfair. Why should people's lives be ruined this way?''
Mark Charlton, who is west of the line, said: "Residents are concerned about the scale and architecture which does not fit in with the surrounding area, and the impact of traffic and parking, particularly from the retail units.
"In principle, we recognise something needs to be done on the site. It's wasteland and an eyesore. However, what is proposed is too big and the modern architecture is in stark contrast to the station and surrounding properties. As residents, we will have to look at this on a daily basis.
"Parking provision is inadequate, with 46 spaces for 69 units, particularly when these days many families have two cars. The developers are naive to think people will simply use the Metro.''
But Mark Short, representing the developer, said months of work had been put into the scheme, with guidance from local architects.
He said: “We engaged a transport consultant and we don’t think parking will be an issue.
“We have had two public consultation events where we have took feedback and some residents had very positive comments about what is being put in place of the waste land.
“We’re going to open up a new public realm and concourse.
“As far as the design goes we have been in dialogue for over two years and have been working with the North East Design Review Panel who are professional architects.
“They have given us advice, one of the comments from them is it needs its own identity.”
Deadline for comments on the plans is February 28, with the council expected to make a decision in May.