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Referendum Information

    Thank you for visiting our Referendum Information page. If you would like a quick overview of the policies included in the Neighbourhood Plan please see this page.

    Please remember that the Forum is made up of volunteers and aims represents the views of local people, it is not part of South Tyneside Council and is not affiliated to or supported by any political party.

    The information on this page remains available despite the referendum being over. The result was overwhelmingly positive in favour of the plan with 1432 votes cast, 1362 (95%) in favour of the plan and 70 against. The turnout was 42% which is better than in recent local elections.

    The Referendum question is:

    “Do you want South Tyneside Council to use the neighbourhood plan for East Boldon to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area ?”

    The Neighbourhood Plan was born out of a desire by the community to protect the Green Belt and the East Boldon from large scale and poorly placed development and does not allocate any sites for development. It is based on the results of a number of consultations with residents.

    Please take a look at these short videos which help explain why the Forum was created and some of the key points in the Neighbourhood Plan.

    If you have any questions about the Forum or the Neighbourhood Plan please leave a message on the website or send a text to 07726106773. Please remember to provide some contact details.

    There have been a number of questions / comments about the plan on social media recently, here is a summary of those received so far. Click on the question to reveal the Forum’s response.

    The number of houses proposed by the Council’s now withdrawn draft local plan was 950 dwellings in the East Boldon Forum Area. This number would have required the loss of significant areas of the green belt around the village of East Boldon. Many residents were opposed to this and felt this number of houses was disproportionate to the numbers being proposed elsewhere. People believed the numbers being proposed would have changed the character of the village beyond recognition and resulted in a significant increase in traffic and air pollution.
    The Housing Needs Assessment commissioned by the Forum indicated that if the village was to be allocated a proportionate number of the houses required by the Government for South Tyneside, this would be in the order of 146 dwellings, which equates to 12 houses per year over a 12 year period until 2031. The Independent Examiner, in her report, rolled this figure forward to 192 houses up to 2036.
    The settlement boundary limits development to the existing area of the village and in so doing protects the green belt.
    The Cleadon Lane Industrial estate identified by the Council in its 2019 draft Local Plan for potential housing development is a brownfield site, is within the settlement boundary and large enough to accommodate the housing numbers set out in the Forum’s Housing Need Assessment.

    Yes. The Neighbourhood Plan has been subject to a number of public consultations and objections to it were received from a number of landowners / builders who may wish to build in the Forum area and wanto protect their own interests. These objections were not upheld during the final indepenent examination of the plan. We’re aware of proposals which could lead to the development of:

    215 houses on land at Low House Farm and the field behind Ferndale Grove / Hunter Close

    63 houses on the field between Natley Avenue and the Cricket Club

    234 houses on part of Cleadon Lane Industrial Estate


    Your Plan is about enhancing and protecting the village. It aims to protect the Green Belt and green spaces and limit housing numbers. It does not propose any sites for development.

    Neighbourhood Plans cannot prevent development but your plan restricts any new development to the existing built-up area of the village.

    One of the most helpful policies that a Neighbourhood Plan can include relates to the protection of green areas or open spaces that are important to the community.

    Your plan gives extra protection to  nine of these Local Green Spaces in Policy EB16 on Page 48 of the document.

    These include Mundles Lane Play Area, Grange Park, land adjacent to St George’s Church and the War Memorial and garden. These spaces in the centre of our village are also subject to a future Community Action aimed at enhancing the village environment.

    These proposals can be delivered in conjunction with other local organisations.

    Further details on each community action can be found within the relevant background paper.

    Your plan has at its heart the enhancement of our historic environment and  three of these green spaces are within the Conservation Area which gives protection to all original specimen trees within them.

    Your plan also recognises the importance of protecting  all trees of amenity and historic value and these are listed  at paragraph 6.15 on Page 34.

    They include the 43 mature trees adjoining the War Memorial and the 29 mature trees next to St George’s Church.

    The delivery of new market and affordable housing will be supported where it is located within the settlement boundary on sites that are not allocated for other uses and where it complies with the relevant policies within the development plan.

    The Forum has addressed the need for housing within East Boldon by commissioning an independent Housing Needs Assessment (HNA).

    The Forum also undertook a housing needs survey of residents to provide feedback from the local community.

    The result of the HNA, which was supported by the Independent Examiner, was that an average of 12 dwellings per year was needed.

    Planning permission has been granted for 10 houses so far, most of these on the former Mayflower Glass site.

    There may be other brownfield sites within the village that come forward.

    Grange Park is protected from development and is designated as a Local Green Space in Policy EB16.

    East Boldon Junior and Nursery School playing fields and playgrounds are also protected from development as Protected Open Space under Policy EB17.

    The policy towards any potential housing development on Cleadon Lane Industrial Estate and steps that any developer must go through to get planning permission are clearly set out in Policy EB10.

    The Forum identified the estate as a key site for the plan and produced a detailed policy for the estate.

    This is Policy EB10 and can be found on page 39 of the document.

    As you will see the policy supports the continued use of the estate for employment uses as the preferred position.

    The policy then directs that proposals for the redevelopment of the site for a wider mix of uses , including housing, must be informed by a comprehensive masterplan to be prepared in consultation with the Forum, the local community and other key stakeholders.

    The first thing that the developers must do is demonstrate that there is no need or demand for the existing employment related uses by providing details of a comprehensive marketing exercise.

    If they pass that test then they must comply with the masterplan which includes 12 separate requirements.

    These requirements are set out in the policy and are far more stringent than would be required without the Neighbourhood Plan.

    It is important to say that this policy has been approved by the Independent Examiner despite objections from consultants acting for the principal land owner on the estate.

    Whatever is the future of the estate, the community will be better served by having a strong stake in influencing any development there.

    A planning application could go ahead in any event but with this policy in place, the Council will have a very comprehensive set of requirements to assess it against.

    Cleadon Lane site can be developed regardless of the outcome of the Neighbourhood Plan referendum. If the Neighbourhood Plan is not adopted, it will be assessed by Planners under the current Council Local Development Plan in much the same way as the Gordon Durham site was. If the Neighbourhood Plan is adopted and in place, the developer and Planners will need to take into account the policies identified by the community and set out in the Neighbourhood Plan.


    Properties at Cleadon Lane Industrial Estate have East Boldon postal addresses and the estate in our view has always been regarded as part of the built-up area of East Boldon.

    Regardless of the Neighbourhood Plan being adopted, residents in Cleadon will continue to have the right to express their views over planning applications in the same way as residents living in the East Boldon Forum area. The Plan sets out additional policies which the Council must take into account when deciding planning applications in the Neighbourhood Plan Area.

    The Independent Examiner backed the Forum’s strategy for Cleadon Lane Industrial Estate and said the following in her report at Para 3.102:

     ” The background evidence demonstrates that there is a continuing need for general employment land in the Boldon area. It is therefore appropriate for the policy to support the continued use of Cleadon Lane Industrial Estate for employment uses. If the housing scheme is brought forward in advance of the allocation of the site for housing in the emerging Local Plan, it is considered reasonable for the EBNP to seek justification for the loss of employment land in view of the evidence of the need for such sites in the Council’s latest background documents.”

    So far from agreement to housing on the site, the Examiner decided that the Forum’s two stage approach was the right one.

    The Examiner congratulated the Forum on how they have engaged with their community to secure a high level of responses in the early stages of making the plan (Para 2.47)

    The reality is a planning application for 230 houses for Cleadon Lane is imminent. This scheme will be progressed with or without the Neighbourhood Plan being agreed in the referendum. The difference is without a Neighbourhood Plan the community will have less ability to influence what is built and what it looks like.

    The Neighbourhood Plan area was subject to lengthy discussions in 2017 and this is explained in the Forum’s application. Here is the link:

    This document (from the above website) contains the relevant part of the application.

    The plan area was approved by the Council in January 2018. The inclusion of Boldon Flats was assessed by the Council Planning Officers and it was accepted that the Flats contribute to the distinct character of East Boldon as well as Cleadon. However, the Council noted that the Forum had offered to re-negotiate the boundary should residents of Cleadon wish to designate a Neighbourhood Plan area.

    The Forum has always been supportive of the creation of a Neighbourhood Plan for Cleadon and have offered assistance to Cleadon representatives in the past.

    This offer remains open today.

    East Boldon Forum were not allowed to include any main policy on sewerage in the Neighbourhood Plan as that should in the Borough’s Development Plan. However, sewerage is covered within two of East Boldon Neighbourhood Plan Policies

    The Neighbourhood Plan’s policy EB1 on Sustainable Development includes assessing the impact of development proposals on the existing sewerage infrastructure.

    Policy EB5 on Green and Blue Infrastructure includes that all drainage of new development is connected correctly and within the capacity of the existing water and sewerage systems.

    The Neighbourhood Plan has a Community Action which states:

    The forum acknowledges that there are genuine concerns over the issue of sewerage discharge at coastal locations and the resultant pollution that this may cause. It commits to work with others to encourage greater transparency and understanding of these issues.

    Your Plan has passed a rigorous examination as required by planning law. The Independent Examiner had the power to make changes to the plan after considering all representations made to her. She produced a detailed report which is available for all residents to read.

    The Independent Examiner considered representations made to her about the impact of sewage discharge and she recommended the inclusion of a section relating to development and its impact on sewerage infrastructure within Policy EB1. The Forum agreed to this.

    So far from removing reference to sewage concerns, the Plan does include them.

    The plan has a second policy, EB5, which relates to any development which will impact on the water environment, requiring it to be within the capacity of existing water and sewage systems.

    The Examiner concluded that she was satisfied that the Habitat Regulations Assessment (HRA) had been carried out in accordance with the legal requirements. (Para 2.40)

    The reality is without a Neighbourhood Plan there is the potential for development on the scale envisaged in the 2019 Draft Local Plan (now withdrawn) where 950 houses were proposed for the Forum Area.

    Please see the detailed information about the plan in the documents listed below. This information is also available on the Council’s website.

    Referendum version of the Neighbourhood Plan
    Examination Report
    Regulation 16 Consultation Responses
    South Tyneside Council Decision Statement
    South Tyneside Council Information Statement

    There are also a number of supplementary documents / background papers which support the plan, these have been prepared by Forum members.

    Supplementary Documents / Background Papers
    Local green space and protected open space
    Built and historic environment
    Community wellbeing
    Local economy
    Natural environment
    Settlement boundary
    Transport and movement
    Community character statement
    Architectural survey – Conservation area (part 1) Front Street (North side / even numbers and Grange Terrace)
    Architectural survey – Conservation area (part 2) Front Street (South side / odd numbers
    East Boldon Design Code
    Housing Needs Survey
    Natural Environment Statement

    If you have any comments to make about the videos or would like to discuss anything in more detail please leave your details on the Contact Us page.

    If you live or work in the East Boldon Forum area then you are welcome to join the Forum. Please get in touch with us.

    If you wish to contact us for any reason please leave your details on the Contact Us page.