Stay of execution for shelters after public’s petition

The Victorian shelters on the promenade at Whitley Bay.'REF 0107148553
The Victorian shelters on the promenade at Whitley Bay.'REF 0107148553

Seafront shelters earmarked for demolition have been given a 13th hour stay of execution.

The historical shelters on the northern promenade at Whitley Bay had been due to be demolished on Tuesday.

But after angry residents presented a petition signed by more than 2,000 people to North Tyneside Council on Monday, the local authority announced it would be looking again at the plans.

Residents say the shelters date back to Victorian times and add heritage to the coast, proving a popular attraction for visitors.

However, the authority had been looking to demolish the structures and replace them with new seating and lighting.

Sarah Rees, who started the petition after recently moving to the town and opening a shop in Park View, was delighted the shelters had been given more time.

Speaking to the News Guardian, she said: “I’m really pleased about the news that the demolition didn’t go ahead as planned.

“With the petition having more than 2,000 signatures it means there will be a public meeting with the council.

“I’m getting together a group of people and putting together proposals around what we believe should happen to the shelters.

“I know the people of Whitley Bay are really proud of their town but I didn’t expect the petition to snowball as it has done.”

Sarah has also begun talks with local schools to encourage children to put together a selection of potential pictures, paintings and mosaics that could be used to improve the appearance of the shelters.

Protestors have also been given support from an archaeology officer who says the shelters are pre-1919 and would also like to see them stay.

Mayor Norma Redfearn said: “I’d like to reassure residents that we are listening to their views about plans for the seafront shelters at Whitley Bay.

“I am aware that we have received a petition on Monday calling for the shelters to remain, and it’s important that we take time to consider that petition and residents’ opinions before we determine what our next steps might be.

“The regeneration and improvement of our coastal strip, including Whitley Bay, is vital to the borough’s overall economic success, and we are working hard to ensure that our plans strike the right balance between retaining and building on our historical assets and delivering change, progress and improvements for the future.”

Sarah is also holding a meeting involving residents with ideas to improve the shelters. Anyone interested in attending the meeting should email