The bulldozers have moved in to flatten two well-known South Tyneside buildings which served the borough in two very different ways over several decades.
Work has started to flatten the Tunnel Club - formerly the Ex-Servicemen’s Club in North Street in Jarrow.
A 47-unit £5.1million apartment block for older people incorporating one and two-bedroom properties is to be built on the land.
And a pioneering drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre which closed its doors in 2012, after more than 25 years helping people tackle their addictions, is also being demolished to make way for more apartments for older people. Phoenix House in Westoe Drive, South Shields, was the North East’s first long-term residential rehabilitation service when it opened in 1985.
A spokesperson for Places for People, which owns the land, said: “In due course we will be submitting a planning application for a number of apartments to be built on the former site of Phoenix House.
“Phoenix House has been empty for a number of years, and our plans will see additional affordable housing being delivered for the benefit of local people.
These properties have been designed to incorporate best practiceBrian Scott
The homes will be for local residents over the age of 55 and will be developed as part of our Affordable Homes Programme, which we are delivering with the support of the Homes and Communities Agency.
“Our placemaking approach means not only will we be building quality homes for local people, but we will also be consulting with residents and considering what works could take place in the surrounding area to ensure there is a positive impact on the community already living there.”
The borough’s independent housing company, South Tyneside Housing Ventures Trust, is working in partnership with construction firm Galliford Try Partnerships North on the Jarrow development.
Brian Scott, company secretary of the Trust, said: “These properties have been designed to incorporate the latest best practice for older people’s housing. The apartment block will consist of one and two bedroomed apartments that are self-contained, with their own front door, a kitchen, gas fired central heating and living area. A communal area on the ground floor will add to the atmosphere of a friendly, safe location to live.”
Councillor Allan West, the council’s lead member for Housing and Transport, said: “It’s great to see construction get underway.
“The number of older households in the borough continues to grow and schemes such as this are providing the much-needed quality of housing that older residents want and which helps to build sustainable communities.”