Work underway to demolish flats

Mayor Norma Redfearn with resident Lynn Hughes and site manager Jason OHara.
Mayor Norma Redfearn with resident Lynn Hughes and site manager Jason OHara.

A block of flats identified as a hotbed of anti-social behaviour will be demolished.

Bulldozers have moved in to demolish the last block of flats in an area of Howdon as part of a North Tyneside Council scheme to eradicate anti-social behaviour.

The local authority has already pulled down one of the blocks of flats in the Rosehill area and is now is set to demolish the remaining one.

The demolition of the buildings is a major milestone in the council-led Rosehill Neighbourhood Regeneration Scheme.

It follows countless complaints from people living nearby about the behaviour of some of the flats’ residents.

Visits by council and police officers failed to resolve the problem, leading the authority to purchase all 36 flats in the two blocks on Helmsley Drive and Bamburgh Drive.

Mayor Norma Redfearn said: “It’s fantastic that we have reached such a major milestone in the Rosehill Neighbourhood Regeneration Scheme.”

She added: “I would like to thank the ward councillors and residents living nearby, especially the members of the Rosehill Regeneration Multi Agency Group, for working with us and to bring about transformation to the area.”

The improvement work has been welcomed by local councillors Frank Lott, Wendy Lott and Bruce Pickard.

Speaking about the work, Coun Frank Lott said: “We are very pleased that these flats, that have been the bane of local people’s lives for many a long year, are now being demolished.”

He added: “Due to the flats being privately owned and other complex ownership issues, it has taken a very long time to get to this point.

“We especially want to thank the local community for the way they have worked with us over this time, and for their patience and tolerance.”

The regeneration scheme in the area has also seen new homes built on the site of the former Northumberland Arms public house following a redevelopment project by Gleeson Homes.

It is expected the demolition of the final block of flats and the clearance of the site will take four weeks to complete, and this is being undertaken by Kier North Tyneside.

Kier North Tyneside director, Mike Furze, said: “The Rosehill Neighbourhood Regeneration Scheme has already made a real improvement to the area, enhancing the quality of life for residents.

“We’re committed to working with North Tyneside Council on this, and other projects, to regenerate the borough.”