Estate puts homes plan on display

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MEMBERS of the public have been given the opportunity to view plans for a major development in Backworth which would inlcude relocating the primary school.

The construction of a new housing development and proposal to relocate Backworth Park Primary School could create dozens of jobs and generate millions of pounds for North Tyneside’s economy.

Details of Northumberland Estates’ plan for 590 homes and a new school building were on display at a public exhibition in The Village Hotel last week.

Barry Spall, development planner for Northumberland Estates, said: “It was good to meet and discuss the proposal with local people.

“Lots of positive and constructive comments were made and these will be taken into account as we finalise our planning application.”

Visitors to the exhibition included Joanne and Stuart Thomas, who live in Backworth.

Mrs Thomas said: “I’m in favour of anything that helps improve the area.

“This seems in keeping with what’s there already.

“There’s enough commercial development and a new school would be great.”

The proposed site in West Shiremoor – on land south of Backworth Golf Course and east of the A19 – has been identified by North Tyneside Council in its core strategy plan as a suitable site for housing to meet the future needs of the borough. It had previously been earmarked as an employment site.

A quarter of the development – nearly 150 homes – would consist of affordable housing.

Research carried out by consultants Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners (NLP) on behalf of Northumberland Estates suggests a considerable economic benefit for the area if the scheme goes ahead.

It has calculated, for example, that the equivalent of up to 180 building and construction supply jobs could be created.

NLP’s research also indicates that the people moving into the new homes would spend around £5.4m in shops and on services in North Tyneside.

Mr Spall said: “There is a shortage of new housing in the area which is damaging its economic well-being.

“People are having to move out of North Tyneside to pursue their lifestyle ambitions and – until now – this site has been left unfinished.

“The roads and infrastructure were originally put in place to cope with a busy commercial development, but there is little demand for that use due to competition from other sites with Enterprise Zone status in the region.

“We believe, though, that rather than a place to work – with large buildings and multi-storey car parks – this will be an ideal place to live.”

As well as the new homes there will be new and improved footpath links with the Metro station at Northumberland Park and Cobalt Business Park, cycle tracks through the development and bus services.

“As a result, this development will be connected to the existing shops and services and there are major employment centres – like Cobalt and Silverlink – on its doorstep,” said Mr Spall.

“The proposed provision of a new building to relocate Backworth Park Primary School, in addition to all the other benefits, makes this an ideal location for modern family living.