From: Michael Dawson
CC: 6 Residents, Greens Place and Harbour View.
Subject: Slipway Cover, River drive, South Shields (2 with refs).
Date: Tue, 31 Mar 2015 14:26:32 +0100
Eighteen months ago my former neighbour, Miss Melanie Todd wrote to you in September about our concerns regarding a development described as ‘Approved boat repair shelter at Tyne Slipway, River Drive, South Shields’ and asking to meet with you. I understand at the meeting, the Residents expressed concerns that, firstly, it was being built on River Drive, and secondly, that the framework had not been built to plan.
We now have an admission from South Tyneside Council that the repair shelter was built without planning permission. This admission had to be prised out of the Council: the Principal Planning Officer, Mr Cunningham was still telling a Residents’ Association at a meeting on November 25th 2013, organised by one of the Ward Councillors that it was built to an approved plan. I would like to point out here that he had not changed his point of view in correspondence with me in January 2014.
I pursued this with his boss the Planning Manager who initially said that the measurements were in accordance with the approved plans. In February 2014 however, after some reasoning from me, he conceded that the repair shelter was not built to approved plans.
The Head of Development Services, Mr Mansbridge, would not admit to the fact that it was built 3m higher than approved and in a letter to residents in May he said “The approved dimensions of the steelwork are: Proposed height 15.5m at the River Drive end, Proposed length..” etc. He has not produced any plans that support this and there are none in the public domain, either, that show the shelter to be built to an approved height. It is significant that South Tyneside Council will not say who signed off the shelter when building Control issued the Completion Certificate on June 17th 2014.
Customer Advocacy, the team that respond to Stage III complaints on behalf of Mr Swales, the CEO, admit to the repair shelter being built without planning permission and this completely changes the complexion of the development on the slipway, River Drive (now UK Docks, formally Tyne Slipway) and I would like you to look into why it has been allowed to be built without planning permission and that the Planning Department are considering an application dated June 20th 2014 (just 3 days after the first shelter was signed off) to build an even larger shelter alongside the existing one.
I understand that you will be busy with the impending election but may I ask you again to meet with the residents affected by continual disturbance of the ship repair facility allowed to built on River Drive, see their point of view, and give them support in stopping the further expansion of this inappropriately located shipyard.
South Tyneside Council Refs:
Case 248789 – Work continuing on unplanned shelter.
Case 253539 – Fundamental questions raised in Petition evaded & abuse of Complaints System.
Case 266782 – STC accept planning application ST/0461/14/FUL to build an even larger shelter.
Local Government Ombudsman
Ref: 14 015 052
From: Michael Dawson