WORK has started to create more than 100 new homes on a former college site in South Tyneside.
Developer Bellway Homes (North East) is to build 118 properties on land formerly occupied by South Tyneside College’s old Hebburn campus.
The Mill Lane college closed almost four years ago.
College bosses axed the 60-year-old education complex, which covers more than 21 acres, because it was outdated, with annual maintenance costs rising to £500,000.
Contractors have just moved on the site, which was formerly Hebburn Technical College, to prepare for the demolition of the buildings.
While lamenting the loss of the educational facility, a town councillor welcomed the new homes.
Coun John McCabe, who represents Hebburn South for Labour, said: “We were sad to lose an educational facility but it was something that was out of our hands.
“I’ll fight tooth and nail to save the Palmer walk-in centre but it was the college’s decision to close the facility. There’s no point in moaning about it, we had to move on.
“All the political parties are agreed on the need to build new houses and this development will incorporate an element of social housing.
“If you go to The Cornfields and see the housing there you can’t tell the difference between the private properties and the social housing.
“Some people in Hebburn appreciate the need to build new homes and others don’t, but that need is definitely there.”
The Hebburn campus closed in the summer of 2011, resulting in the transfer of hundreds of students to the South Shields college site in St George’s Avenue, Westoe, South Shields.