Eyesore building at South Shields park to make away to new bungalow

An abandoned parkkeeper's house in South Tyneside - which has become a magnet for vandals - is set to be demolished.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 13th May 2017, 11:00 am
Updated Monday, 15th May 2017, 8:28 am
West Park Lodge
West Park Lodge

Demolition experts are preparing to move in on the building which has stood empty, within West Park, South Shields, for more than a decade.

It is thought work could start as early as next month to flatten the building which has fallen victim to vandals.

Once the area is cleared, the site will make way for a new bungalow.

In charge of the design of the new build architect Philip Newbold said: “This has been a very long drawn out process, but we are finally able to move forward with our plans.

“There has been a lot of issues and problems associated with the building which has been left derelict for quite a long time.

“We do not have a confirmed date as to when work will be carried out, but we wanted people to know what was happening, rather than waiting for fencing to go and no one knowing what was going on.”

Since the last park-keeper to live in the property moved out, its outhouses were demolished and its windows were boarded up, but that failed to stop people from breaking into the building believing there were items to steal.

Over the years a number of councillors have called for something to be done with the property including having it demolished.

At one point it was feared the building was being used as a makeshift brothel - something the police said they had no reports of.

A number of applications to convert the building over the years have also fallen foul of strict planning permission.

These have included turning it onto a four-bedroom family home, an after-school club and the base for charity Cancer Connections. All bids came to nothing, predominantly because planning rules prevented parking on the site.

In 2008, the property was put on the open market for sale after restrictions placed on the use of the land werelifted by the Church Commissioner’s.

Coun for West Park Norman Dick said: “This building has been a thorn in the residents’ side for a long time and it has been plagued with undesirables who have been breaking into it and causing damage.

“I’m sure people, especially those living close to the building, will be pleased that finally something is going to be done and that it is going to be coming down.

“I can only welcome what they have in store for the site as it is a lot better than what we have now.

“I have spoken to contractors and from what I’ve been told they are putting measures in place to try and keep disruption to a minimum while work is carried out.”