Stay of execution for historic police centre

Bede Burn road house for sale, junction of Field Terrace Jarrow
Bede Burn road house for sale, junction of Field Terrace Jarrow

PLANS to demolish a historic former police training centre in South Tyneside hang in the balance.

An application has been submitted for an apartment complex on the site of the now-vacant Henry Studdy House, in Bede Burn Road, Jarrow.

Many local residents want to preserve the building, which is about 100 years old, and fear the plans will spark traffic congestion and parking issues.

They are also opposed to the cutting down of old trees on the site to make way for eight, two-bedroom apartments.

Despite the objections, members of the council’s Planning Committee were this week recommended to accept the application as the building is not listed and would provide much-needed flats.

A report to members concluded the bid would “contribute towards the borough’s housing land supply on a previously developed site”.

However, members decided to defer a final decision until they had paid a site visit to the area.

Coun Alan Kerr, who represents the Monkton ward for Labour, said: “I have concerns about the building as I would prefer the old buildings kept, but my main concern is parking in that area.

“This application is for eight bedroom flats, yet there are only 11 parking spaces. I think that is inadequate.

“The other thing, is that the junction of Bede Burn Road and Field Terrace is a rat run and it is well used and there is a school just down the bank.”

Coun Geraldine Kilgour, Labour for Fellgate and Hedworth, is also uncertain over the application. She said: “I live on Bede Burn Road, but I don’t have a predetermination on this application, but I have severe concerns.

“The corner along Bede Burn Road and York Avenue is one of the busiest in the town.

“It has a main comprehensive school along there and I’d back a site visit.” Coun Gladys Hobson, who represents West Park in South Shields, also raised issues about the design and size of the complex, saying: “We are saying there is a need for one and two-bedroom flats in Jarrow, but these flats are really just studio apartments.”

Originally a training centre for police cadets, Henry Studdy House was also home to security and accountancy firms and a record company recently years, but has been empty for three years.

The plan has been submitted by IDS Fire and Security Ltd, of Metro Business Park, Gateshead.