Old college to be demolished

Norgas Training Centre, The Chan Building, Comet Road, Stephenson Industrial Estate, Killingworth-an outline planning application has been approved to knock down the building.
Norgas Training Centre, The Chan Building, Comet Road, Stephenson Industrial Estate, Killingworth-an outline planning application has been approved to knock down the building.
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A FORMER training college claimed by architecture critics to be a key landmark in Killingworth’s history is set to be demolished.

An outline planning application has been approved to demolish the former Norgas Training College on the Stephenson Industrial Estate.

It will be replaced by a 98-bed care home and 54 houses.

The Chan Building – designed by acclaimed architects Gordon Ryder and Peter Yates and built in 1971 – was one of numerous modernist buildings constructed in the town in the 1960s and 1970s.

The demolition plans were submitted by current occupier, clothing importer Chan Casuals, now looking to move into smaller premises. The site has been on the market since April 2009 but has failed to find a buyer.

A report to North Tyneside Council’s planning committee said: “The proposal will contribute towards providing more much-needed sheltered accommodation for elderly people, which will also provide more choice to downsize from family homes if desired, potentially freeing up existing housing for young families.”

The committee approved the outline plans at their meeting last week, subject to legal issues.

The building was one of several praised in a book written by architect Rutter Carroll for English Heritage, the Royal Institute of British Architects and the 20th Century Society.

He believes the loss of an of their buildings would be a disaster for the region’s modern architectural heritage, as the buildings in Killingworth are a unique contribution.