Residents rally against Bernicia housing proposal

Plans to develop a greenfield area used by playing children are being met with opposition in Seahouses.

Thursday, 3rd May 2018, 12:00 pm
Stephen and Lisa Rutter and their neighbours are protesting against the proposed plans for the green at James Street in Seahouses. Picture by Jane Coltman

Bernicia, the social housing provider, wants to build 15 affordable homes in the James Street and Stone Close areas.

However, its plans to build five bungalows on an area known locally as The Horseshoe, have drawn criticism, with 11 letters of objection.

“We’re gutted,” said local resident Lisa Rutter said: “It seems like such a shame that they want to build houses on one of the few green space kids have to play on in Seahouses.”

North Sunderland Parish Council has also objected to that element of the plan.

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Clerk Jill Hall said: “There are ongoing parking issues in James Street.  This green space provides a safe area for children to play.”

Bernicia also wants to demolish six bungalows and build seven homes on the opposite side of James Street, and build three homes on the site of disused garages on Stone Close.

Jeannie McMillan, director of housing services at Bernicia, said: “The affordable housing development in Seahouses will see the net addition of nine affordable homes, responding to the needs of local people who want to stay in the area and benefit from all it has to offer.

“We believe the new homes will add to the attractiveness of Seahouses as a place to live and a place for families to stay.”

She added: “The provision of sufficient homes widens the choice of homes that are available and affordable in the area, ensuring that local people do not need to move elsewhere to find suitable accommodation.

“The creation of additional homes in Seahouses will also support the local economy, by providing support for local shops, public transport, hospitality establishments and leisure facilities - businesses which can be affected by seasonal trade and holiday residences.

“We are focussed on investing in communities, providing homes and services that respond to the requirements of residents and customers, and are confident our plans for new homes in Seahouses will make a positive contribution in the area.

“At Bernicia, our vision is helping to create places where people want to live by investing in neighbourhoods and communities and offering a wide range of homes and services.”