A ‘much needed’ new affordable housing project in South Shields has been given the green light by local planning officials.

The news follows unanimous approval of plans submitted by North East planning experts Hedley Planning Services to develop a mix of 69 detached and semi-detached homes on a site on land at Shaftesbury Avenue close to South Shields Football Club.

The development will see the former Filtrona industrial site demolished to make way for the construction of a mix of two, three and four bedroomed properties with onsite visitor car parking and new landscaping. Onsite construction is expected to begin in early autumn with the first phase of properties  available in early 2022.

The move is the latest success for Hedley Planning Services, which has recently secured consent for the development of over 110 new affordable homes across the region. Earlier this month, the Hexham-based planning experts secured permission for a £9m development of 45 properties on land at Chilton Moor in Houghton-le-Spring.

Both sites will be developed by social housing specialists Adderstone Living to provide quality housing for local people with affordable rent and rent-to-buy options available.

More than 150 construction and associated supply chain jobs would be created as building work on the sites gets underway in the coming weeks.

The news comes as the Government continues to push for the delivery of new properties to meet the chronic housing shortage and arrest the decline in the affordability of home ownership. It also wants to relieve the pressure on the social rented sector, which has prompted the growth in private renting.

Joe Ridgeon, director at Hedley Planning Services, said: “This is clearly good news for local people desperate for good quality housing at affordable prices. We are working with developers and planning authorities across the North East to ensure that similar much needed affordable housing is viable and helps to plug the chronic housing gap.

“The commercial pressures associated with the affordable housing sector are different to volume house building and our experience working for registered social housing providers means sees us add value to this type of planning.”