118 homes planned at old college site

looking to future ... Coun John McCabe at the Hebburn site.
looking to future ... Coun John McCabe at the Hebburn site.

MORE than 100 new homes are set to be built on a former college site as part of a multi-million-pound residential scheme.

Developer Bellway Homes (North East) plans to build 118 properties on land formerly occupied by South Tyneside College’s old Hebburn campus.

The Mill Lane college site closed three years ago and is now earmarked for demolition.

Town councillors have welcomed the scheme, saying it will provide an economic and social boost for Hebburn.

Creating up to 60 full-time jobs during the three-year construction period, developers say the housing scheme will require capital investment of £10m.

Coun John McCabe, vice-chairman of South Tyneside Council’s Hebburn community area forum, said: “We need quality housing in Hebburn, which is becoming a dormitory town rather than a major centre for industry.

“Nobody wanted to see the college close, but at least we are creating lots of new homes, which will have economic benefits for the area.”

In its planning submission to the council, Bellway says the scheme will see the creation of housing to accommodate 257 residents.

The application states: “Not only does the provision of new housing assist the council in meeting its housing targets, which are designed to match economic growth, there are also direct economic impacts associated with the redevelopment of this site.”

Bellway also estimates that residents of the new homes will have between £3.6m and £4.2m annual spending power.

Money from the sale of the site will provide funding for South Tyneside College’s future provision of further education in the borough, it adds.

The Hebburn campus closed in the summer of 2011, leading to the transfer of hundreds of students there to the college’s South Shields site, in St George’s Avenue, Westoe.

The 60-year-old education complex, formerly known as Hebburn Technical College, was closed because it was outdated and required annual maintenance costing £500,000.

Since its closure, the complex has been used for training by both Northumbria Police and Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service.

However, Hebburn councillors have raised concerns about vandalism and the state of the complex.

In April this year, college officials confirmed the sale of the Hebburn site to a developer.

The housing on the vacant college site would complement new residential developments at Monkton Fell and near the old Reyrolle factory site, both in Hebburn, bringing the total number of new homes constructed in the town to about 1,500 over the next year or two.

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