Protesters say ur­ban sprawl will lead to loss of green spa­ces


The Chronicle - - News - By JAMES HAR­RI­SON

PLANS for a hous­ing de­vel­op­ment on the bor­der be­tween South Ty­ne­side and Gateshead will leave a com­mu­nity feel­ing ‘un­der siege’ from ur­ban sprawl, cam­paign­ers have said.

Gateshead Coun­cil gave the goa­head to an ap­pli­ca­tion by hous­ing as­so­ci­a­tion Gen­too yes­ter­day to build 30 homes on land north of Gul­lane Close, in Bill Quay.

South Ty­ne­side Coun­cil was among those who raised ob­jec­tions over loss of green space and wildlife habi­tats.

A spokesman for South Ty­ne­side Coun­cil said: “We submitted our views on the pro­posal but ac­cept that this was ul­ti­mately a mat­ter for Gateshead Coun­cil to de­ter­mine.”

Oth­ers cam­paign­ers are con­cerned about de­creas­ing bound­aries be­tween dif­fer­ent com­mu­ni­ties south of the river.

Rob Storey, of Bill Quay, who helped lead protests dur­ing a site visit by mem­bers of the Gateshead Coun­cil Plan­ning and De­vel­op­ment Com­mit­tee, said he was dis­ap­pointed by the de­ci­sion.

“It’s about ur­ban sprawl,” he added, “it’s go­ing to lead the way to other de­vel­op­ments, there are al­ready 250 houses been built within spit­ting dis­tance of the de­vel­op­ment. As a com­mu­nity we feel un­der siege. It’s go­ing to com­pletely change the tone of liv­ing in Bill Quay.”

The eastern edge of the site runs along­side the bor­der which sep­a­rates Heb­burn and South Ty­ne­side Coun­cil from Bill Quay and Gateshead Coun­cil.

The ap­pli­ca­tion sought per­mis­sion for 18 four-bed­room houses, 11 three-bed­room houses and one two-bed­room bun­ga­low.

Among those op­pos­ing the scheme was Jar­row MP Stephen Hep­burn, whose con­stituency in­cludes the area.

A pe­ti­tion of 499 sig­na­tures op­pos­ing the plans was submitted and 316 in­di­vid­ual ob­jec­tions were also logged by the coun­cil.

Mr Storey added: “We’ve said con­sis­tently through­out that we un­der­stand that times change and we need to build homes.

“But there’s plenty of brown­field sites around Gateshead des­ig­nated for hous­ing and this isn’t one of them, the coun­cil has des­ig­nated this a wildlife cor­ri­dor.

“In terms of the weight of ev­i­dence put for­ward, we’re re­ally dis­ap­pointed with the ways things have gone.”

Plans for 30 houses at Bill Quay Pic­ture: Gateshead Coun­cil plan­ning

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