Plans for £7.7m sports complex clear final hurdle

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A NEW sports complex being lined up for Seaton Burn has moved a step closer to fruition after securing government approval.

The new development, costing almost £8m, will include a new pavilion and golf driving range, as well as ten all-weather sports pitches.

North Tyneside Council’s planning committee approved the project in principle last month, but, because Seaton Burn’s recreation ground is classed as green-belt land, it needed the government’s blessing too.

That has now been given, meaning the council can now grant Jersey-based leisure developer Barmoor outline planning permission, enabling it to press ahead with the project, expected to create 35 jobs.

Detailed discussions between the council and the developer will now be held ahead of work getting under way on the Front Street site.

The new complex will also include a par-three pitch-and-putt course and golf practice areas, a new practice football pitch, a children’s play area and new changing facilities.

The existing bowling green and cricket pitch will be retained, but the current 11-a-side football pitch will have to be relocated.

The developer will be bound by a community-use agreement, ensuring the sports facilities remain open to villagers.

North Tyneside mayor Linda Arkley said: “This proposal is a great demonstration of localism in action, and local individuals, groups and organisations have come together to help drive the project forward.

“I am delighted that the secretary of state has granted North Tyneside Council the permission to determine this application.

“It means that the residents and current users will shortly be able to enjoy the significant benefits that this new development will bring.”

Michael Hepburn, associate director at Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners, representing Barmoor, said: “We are extremely pleased that the secretary of state has supported the council’s decision on this application.

“It is a great example of a local community supporting a major development that will bring substantial benefits to the area.

“We look forward to continuing to work with the local community and North Tyneside Council in taking forward the proposals.”