Review of the Shed and Corruption Series

Redhead’s Landing, Templetown, South Shields

On May 7th 2013 South Tyneside Council (STC) gave the slipway known as Readheads Landing to the Port of Tyne because they could, and that spelled the death knell of the right of way to it. That was also given the Port of Tyne but it left the Council and the Port of Tyne the problem of finding the business using the slipway adjacent to the former landing a new home. It left Tyne Slipway and Engineering and its owner, as the only obstacle to the closure of Tyne Dock, in a very powerful position because they had to find a new home on the Tyne and there was only one viable option.
That home was Tyne Slipways ltd. and owned by the same family and occasionally used for servicing the Shields Ferries and the some of the North Sea fishing fleet. They had a maintenance contract with the Port of Tyne for their Pilot Boats, with Nexus for the maintenance of their Ferries and a contract with a the Ministry of Defence for the maintenance of their Border Patrol Vessels.

Loss of English Coastal Path

The gift of right of way to the Port of Tyne was not lost on some in the planning office of STC and was simply because Rights of Way are not a planning matter. Bridle and coastal paths etc. are no different and the planning officer who was later in charge of the development of the UtilityWise Center into riverside accommodation on Long Row, South Shields, gave part of the English Coastal Path to its developer. The riverside footpath then became became riverside gardens for the people residing on the ground floor of the two blocks of flats. The contact for the development of the redundant car park downstream, was by 2021 was the same officer who had given Readheads Landing to the Port of Tyne, Mr Peter Cunningham.

71 and 72 Greens place, South Shields

Here is a modified extract from Shed and Corruption – Part 2 (pages 2 and 3).

It started with a Planning Officer and her misapplication of the planning guidelines, SPD9 which were ignored.
72 – I was told by the building inspector, Mr Telford that the single dormer that occupied nearly the whole of the roof width of 72 was not a material consideration but discovered later that was just an opinion. Mr Telford was applying different standards to No 72 to those being applied to No 70.
If anyone had bothered to check, the Listing of No 70 was specific to the frontage and the door in particular, not to any materials used for modifications to the back. I should have questioned the addition of conditions 3 & 4 but as the planning section’s grudge against the previous owners of No 70 was well known and still hung over the place, I just paid the extra for the bricks, which the builder went to some trouble to match. We both agreed that if they tried to enforce metal gutters they would be open to ridicule!
71- When I mentioned that Mr Haig had not even followed the permitted plans, the Ombudsman had said that as I had not taken the complaint thought the Council’s Complaints Procedure (CCP), she was not able to consider it. This was the first indication that the Council and LGO were working in unison to stifle complaints.

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I had noticed as I progressed through the CCP the justification for my complaint against the demolition and rebuild of 71 Greens Place had disappeared. Primarily the planning officer in charge of the development had not followed the guidelines outlined in SPD9. The other setback was that Mr Haig had lied to his solicitor when he said that a party wall agreement was in place and I had to force him into one. It turned out to be a waste of time and money as it was never honoured and in this, he required the assistance of the building inspector, Mr Telford.
I did take the Ombudsman’s Inspectors advice and that led to Mr Haig having to put in an application for permission for his two roof gardens to be granted retrospectively. It was a little short on detail although the agent did mention construction of various patio walls (there were two walls that ran along side the yard of 70 Greens Place under consideration, one on each of the first and second floors).
This was pointed out in response to the Planning Manager’s view and note that ST/0749/13/FUL had referred to retrospective content and it did not, four months later. The Planning Manager had written ‘retrospective’ out of consideration and the revised job passed to a planning officer and acknowledged on the 12th November.
I mention all this because what had started life as an application for retrospective planning permission had by the time the Planning Manager, Mr Atkinson given it approval on the 5th December 2013, had become one which bore no reference to any retrospective planning application.
It had become ST/0749/13/HFUL and its predecessor, ST/0749/13/FUL, had completely disappeared. Since there is no way the Council will allow ST/0749/13/FUL to be recovered there is very little I can do about 71 Greens Place, its first floor patio garden to the rear and its roof top balcony to the front, except to say that if one wants to view some examples of the of the corruption endemic in the Town Hall in South Shields, just take a stroll down Greens Place or its back lane.
The development of 71 Greens Place started with a Planning Officer’s misapplication of the Guidelines in SPD9, which led to Inspector for the LGO being fed misinformation and continuing with the owner Mr Haig who ensured that the Party Wall Agreement would fail so that he could build a longer and or taller walls on our shared boundary.

When someone had recognised the fact a retrospective application would have to be made and raised ST/0749/13/FUL this did not suit Mr Haig, the planning officer involved nor her manager, Mr Atkinson. Nor did it suit the building inspector, Mr Telford and so ST/0749/13/FUL was deleted and replaced with ST/0749/13/HFUL.

72 Greens Place: the two separate dormers had been drawn so large that the gap between them was not wide enough to allow inner sides to be safely clad. There is now one very large dormer filling about 90% of the roof.

Both Messrs Haig and Watson had built an extra story onto each mid terrace properties by ‘bending the rules’ and they got away with it for a mixture of reasons, Mr Watson’s development was fairly discrete and Mr Haig by persuading South Tyneside Council to withdraw the requirement for the redevelopment of No. 71 to be looked at retrospectively.

A better and much more visible example of this sort of corruption, is UK Docks’ shed a little way downstream and easily viewed by the Haigs from their rooftop balcony. This is important to bear in mind because UK Docks should have applied for permission to build the shed we see today sometime between 2001 and 2013. Retrospectively; a) because the foundations had been laid a meter wider and 5.5m longer than planned b) it needed to be taller than planned.

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One thought on “Review of the Shed and Corruption Series”

  1. When I said “Tyne Slipway and Engineering and its owner, as the only obstacle to the closure of Tyne Dock, in a very powerful position because they had to find a new home on the Tyne and there was only one viable option” I was was rather downplaying the argument as the conditions under which the Wilsons acquired the ownership Tyne Slipway and Engineering business, the one off River Drive, were shrouded in secrecy.
    However they blotted their copy book by giving a set of drawings to the Principal Planning Officer of South Tyneside Council to falsely claim that they had approval for what was to become UK Docks’ shed on River Drive. All they had to do then, was to sit back and let the Council’s Planning Office and their Managers make sure that due process did not interfere with their plans for the shed we see today.

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