Georgian homes on South Shields’ Beach Road become homes again, 200 years after they were first built

South Tyneside Council’s planning department recently registered an application for 1, 3 and 3a Beach Road.

The Grade II listed properties occupy an end-of-terrace location close to the junction of Beach Road and Fowler Street.

Numbers 1 to 23 Beach Road were built as Ogle Terrace on land owned by a Reverend JS. Ogle, with the full terrace shown on Wood’s 1827 map of South Shields.

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Apartment plans have been approved for 1, 3 and 3A Beach Road. Photo c/o Google Streetview.

The Tyne and Wear Historic Environment Record states: “Numbers 3 and 3A are built of red brick with a slate roof.

“It has two floors above a semi-basement. The entrance, accessible by a staircase, is framed by a Tuscan doorframe with an open pediment.”

For number 1, we read: “It has two floors above a semi-basement. The central door, accessible by a staircase, is framed by a good wooden Doric doorframe with an open pediment.

According to planning documents, the vacant properties were last used as business offices, with the shed at the rear of Number Three having previously been used as a taxi booking office.

New plans were to change the use of the properties to six self-contained residential units.

This included four apartments at 1 Beach Road, comprising two two-bedroom apartments, one three-bedroom apartment and one one-bedroom apartment.

In addition, plans called for a one-bedroom basement apartment at 3a Beach Road and a three-bedroom duplex at 3 Beach Road.

External and internal modifications have been proposed as part of the planned conversion of the properties to residential use.

This included the demolition of an old derelict carriage shed and adjoining rear outbuilding as well as the provision of a carport, parking spaces, bin store, bollards and new boundary walls.

A submitted design and access statement said the conversion would help future-proof the buildings, make housing “more marketable” and “ensure the buildings are attractive to residents”.

The specific aims of the project were also to preserve as much of the ‘historic fabric’ as possible and to ‘maintain the character of the existing developments’ while providing an ‘enhanced supply’ for town center housing.

During the council’s consultation on the plans, environmental health officers noted the proximity of the proposed apartments to South Shields Town Hall and the potential noise impacts from the town hall clock chimes.

In a report, they said that in the event of a complaint from a future resident(s), it would be “unlikely that legal nuisance could be used as a means of investigation as the town hall is of course long established”.

After reviewing the application, planners from South Tyneside Council gave the green light to the plans and a separate bid for the listed building permit, in April 2022.

A planning decision report, prepared by council officers, reads: “In terms of planning balance, the benefits arising from the proposed development include the restoration to viable use of vacant listed buildings for many years and who are physically deteriorating as a result of such a vacancy.

“The proposals would also provide new homes, making a small contribution to addressing the borough’s housing land supply shortfall and improving the visual amenities of the locality given the properties’ currently neglected appearance.”

The report goes on to say: “Overall, it is considered that the greatest weight should be given to the benefits arising from the viable re-commissioning of listed buildings that have been vacant for many years and the associated benefits relating to visual improvements and the supply of new houses.

“These benefits are considered to outweigh the damage resulting from the loss of the No. 3 relay shed and damage to residential equipment related to noise from the town hall clock.”

For more information on the planning application and the planning decision, visit South Tyneside Council’s online planning portal and search reference: ST/1082/21/FUL

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