Builder aims to work with community

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WORK to demolish two derelict care homes in South Tyneside and build modern family houses on their sites is set to start in a matter of weeks.

Sunderland-based builder Gleeson Homes has been given the go-ahead to bulldoze the buildings in Gerald Street, South Shields, and Beech Street, Jarrow.

Former Gerald Street Home housing plans. From left cllrs Ernest Gibson and Bill Brady.

Former Gerald Street Home housing plans. From left cllrs Ernest Gibson and Bill Brady.

The two former care homes have been lying derelict since they were closed down in 2010, after council chiefs decided both were surplus to requirements.

Now, with demolition imminent, the builders have released an artist’s impression of what the new properties will look like.

Once built, the new homes in Gerald Street will be known as Gerald Court, while those in Jarrow will have the address Beech Court.

Gleeson regional director Ed Alder said: “Gleeson specialise in purchasing brownfield sites on which we build two, three and four-bedroomed homes priced to suit local people.

“We have an excellent reputation across Yorkshire and North West England for building quality homes at affordable prices, and I am delighted we are building homes in the North East.”

As part of the new developments, the company will adopt an approach it calls ‘Community Matters’.

This includes measures like providing jobs and apprenticeships for local people, getting involved with local schools, sponsoring junior football teams and offering free adaptations to homes for disabled buyers.

Mr Alder added: “Ensuring the health and safety of local residents, with minimum disruption during the construction of our new homes, is of the utmost importance.

“We ensure roads are kept clean and deliveries are made to site only between certain times. We will work with the community and residents of the sheltered accommodation near the site, in order to ensure they are kept up to date with our plans.”

Work on the homes is expected to start in the summer, with concerns about access and parking, which were raised by councillors in Whiteleas, resolved.

Coun Ernest Gibson said: “Gleeson has put my mind at rest regarding any possible access issues at the Gerald Street site.

“The new houses will be a welcome addition to the town, which needs new affordable homes.

“I was delighted to learn about the Community Matters package, which I think will be of great benefit to Whiteleas residents.”

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