Housing lined up for old training centre site

A FORMER council building could finally be about to get a new lease of life – nearly seven years after going on the market.

North Tyneside Council put the former adult training centre in Cleveland Road, North Shields, up for sale in March 2005 after deeming it surplus to requirements.

And now a planning application has been submitted to the authority which could see the building demolished.

Bett Homes has been chosen as the preferred developer for the site after producing plans to build 11 houses, with associated garages and spaces for 37 cars, on the site, in the Camp Terrace conservation area.

Two previous applications to build a residential care home have been made for the 0.37-hectare site – in 2005 and 2006 – but both were rejected.

The council has so far received one objection to the latest proposals and two letters in support.

One resident wrote: “We feel it is very important that the high standards of building proposed are adhered to in full and that council planners are thorough and vigilant in their oversight of this project.”

A spokesman for Signet Planning, the agent acting on behalf of Sunderland-based Bett Homes, said: “Given the location of the site in the centre of an existing residential area, its proximity to local services and facilities located within North Shields town centre and access to public transport, it is evident that the site represents a highly sustainable location.

“With regard to the detail of the proposed development, the design presents a sensitive response to the site’s surroundings, with particular regard to the conservation area, providing housing which respects neighbouring properties with regard to scale, massing and density.”

A decision on the future of the building is likely to be made at a planning committee meeting in March.

The council decided to shut down the centre, for people with learning difficulties, in 2005 after a report concluded that the building no longer met the needs of its clients.

The services it offered were relocated to other buildings.

Cabinet members at the time agreed that the centre has suffered a demise over the years, and declared it surplus to requirements.