Online Archive  
Issue 16 - October 1973
More Tower Blocks?

Recently, an enlightened property company called Tweed Investments paid £250,000 for the Horsley Hill Stadium in South Shields. This derelict heap of old buildings was formerly a greyhound stadium, garage and bowling alley and had been standing empty for some time. South Shields Football Club had hoped to acquire the ground as, from the end of this season, they are going to be short of a ground, but, money won and now, Tweed Investments propose to build a nice new supermarket for the site, two sixteen storey tower blocks of flats (didn't anybody tell them?) and some executive homes for the South Shields jet set.

So enlightened are the members of Tweed Investments that they even employed a gentleman whose job it was to call on every house in the area and explain that if anyone objected to their proposals they would build noisy discotheques, dance halls and car parks. They even provided a petition for evryone to sign. Of course, this may sound like blackmail and , of course, it is completly without basis in fact since any development would require permission; but all's fair in the hard world of business and to hell with the people.

As it turns out, this approach produced exactly the opposite reaction. Almost everyone in the area has objected to this proposal, particularly those who were antagonised by Tweed Investments represenative.

Since a considerable housing shortage exists in South Shields, few people would object to residential development on the site (a great improvement on the present mess). But tower blocks are not the best means of satisfying this demand (except, of course that it allows three times as many flats to be crammed on to the site). The supermarket, large enough to draw trade from those in the town centre, would cause a reduction in standards elsewhere and best serve the lucky people with cars since the site is not exactly serviced by buses.

All very well if you own a car. But since South Shields has one of the lowest car ownership ratios in the country, what about the rest who would have to put up with lower standards elsewhere?

Anyway the council is churning all this over and what the guardians of the public will decide is anyones guess.