Hebburn revamp 'is value for money'

CLAIMS that a planned revamp of Hebburn town centre does not offer value for money have been angrily refuted by councillors.

A new Tesco superstore is at the heart of the multi-million-pound scheme to revitalise the run-down centre, along with the creation of 200 new homes.

But much of Station Road will be flattened if the scheme goes ahead, sparking concern over the existing post office, shops and two social clubs.

At a meeting of the full council last month, Independent councillor Allen Branley questioned why the highest bidder for the work had not been accepted.

He said: "They could have accepted the highest bidder and still ensured the kind of development they wanted on that site."

But Labour councillor Eddie McAtominey, who represents Hebburn South, said money was "just part of the equation".

He added: "What we are looking for is a vision for the future, not just for our grandchildren, but for our great-grandchildren."

Coun McAtominey acknowledged he may lose some friends over the plans, adding: "You have to look beyond personal friendships and see the larger picture."

Coun Nancy Maxwell, Labour councillor for Hebburn South, said the people of Hebburn deserve a town centre they can be proud of.

She added: "They want a town centre, not just a skateboard park, as Hebburn is now.

"Come back in five years and people will be thrilled."

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