Council agrees to demolish 43 homes not up to scratch in Jarrow

Eskdale Drive, Jarrow,
Eskdale Drive, Jarrow,

Forty-three homes in Jarrow are to be pulled down after cabinet members at South Tyneside Council agreed their demolition to make way for new housing.

The council-owned homes on Eskdale Drive, on the Lakes Estate, had been due to be brought up to scratch with the help of a Decent Homes grant form the government.

However, a survey carried out by contractor Keepmoat, found the properties were in worse condition than first anticipated, meaning that planned works would take much longer and at a much higher cost than originally budgeted.

Detailed investigations revealed significant investment was required to bring the properties up to Decent Homes standard which was not economic or affordable.

In reaching this decision the Council took into account the costs of carrying out the works and the additional life that they would provide for these houses when compared to the cost of replacing them with modern energy efficient homes.

A report to South Tyneside Council’s Cabinet on Wednesday outlined a recommendation to decommission council owned properties and negotiate to purchase seven owner-occupied properties. The council will provide new energy efficient homes on the site.

South Tyneside Council and South Tyneside Homes will work with residents to find a permanent sustainable housing solution. All tenants will be given the priority to move into suitable alternative accommodation and will receive home loss payments to compensate them for the loss of their homes.

The council will work with owner occupiers in order to secure the rest of the site and bring forward brand new replacement homes.

Coun Allan West, lead member for housing and transport, said: “This will undoubtedly be a distressing time for the residents of Eskdale Drive and their families. Unfortunately we have had no other alternative but to take the decision to decommission the properties and rebuild new homes on the same site.

“Intrusive works found that the continuation of the planned Decent Homes work would no longer represent value for money

“I can assure residents that we will work with them to secure sustainable housing that meets their needs. This is a journey we want to take together to provide the best possible outcome for everyone affected.

“Tenants can choose to stay in their decant property, move somewhere else on a like for like basis for their needs or be allocated a new build property at the site in a clear time line. We are now working to progress plans for brand new housing provision on the site as quickly as possible so that tenants are able to weigh up their options.”

Independent advice will be made available to tenants, if requested.

The prefabricated homes on Eskdale Drive were built at the end of the Second World War and were expected to last only 20 years.

South Tyneside Homes’ contractor, Keepmoat, is on site and is helping the council and South Tyneside Homes with further exploratory works.

To date, more than £266m has been invested in the Decent Homes programme improving the living conditions of people across the Borough.