Anger at potential loss of estate’s green space

Joanna Stirling and other residents near Churchill Avenue in Whitley Bay who are angry about the loss of open space.'Picture be Jane Coltman
Joanna Stirling and other residents near Churchill Avenue in Whitley Bay who are angry about the loss of open space.'Picture be Jane Coltman
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Angry residents have hit out at plans to sell off their estate’s ‘heart and soul’ for housing.

Nearly 500 people have signed a petition calling for North Tyneside Council to scrap the sale of open space at Charlton Court, which is bordered by Churchill Avenue, Cherrytree Gardens and Firtree Avenue in Whitley Bay.

We do not want the space built on, it is the heart and soul of the community

Joanna Stirling

Developers have drawn up plans for eight two-bedroom bungalows for older people and 12 homes for people with a learning disability with on-site support.

However, residents are angry at the potential loss of their green space.

Joanna Stirling said: “We do not want the space built on, it is the heart and soul of the community.

“Kids play freely on it every day while parents can keep an eye from their houses. People walk their dogs on it.

“The area was really badly flooded in 2012, and building more houses is only going to make it worse.

“We are looking into getting Village Green status to get it protected.”

Residents said there were already flats for elderly on the estate while there was also concerns about mine shafts under the field.

Coun John Harrison, cabinet member for housing, said: “Demand is high for affordable and decent homes in North Tyneside.

“North Tyneside Council and its partners are working together to identify opportunities to create more affordable homes, and Charlton Court is one of a number of sites being considered for housing.”

“The plans for Charlton Court would be to provide much-needed homes specifically to support some of our most vulnerable residents, including the elderly and those with learning disabilities.

“We are working closely with residents and local councillors to make sure they have the opportunity to be involved in the detail of the scheme and any decisions.

“Around 50 people attended this week’s event to share their views, and more events are planned for September.

“Any proposals to build in this area would be subject to the usual planning processes, offering residents a further opportunity to submit their comments.”

For more on the residents campaign, visit their ‘Save Our Field! Charlton Court’ page on Facebook.