Farding Square housing land update due from South Tyneside Council

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The future of land previously used for social housing will be discussed this week –  but the public won’t be allowed to hear what’s said.

South Tyneside’s Council’s cabinet will vote on plans to sell land at Farding Square, in Marsden, South Shields, when it meets on Wednesday.

Demolition of the 72 flats previously on the site started in 2016 to make way for modern housing.

According to the agenda for the meeting, a report ‘seeks approval to proceed with the disposal of land at Farding Square for residential development’.

However, as the report is considered to contain ‘exempt information’ relating to financial or businesses affairs, discussions will be held behind closed doors and no other information is currently available.

When asked to provide more details, a council spokeswoman said: “It’s unlikely we will be able to give any more information, it’s confidential at this stage.”

Coun Tracey Dixon, whose Whitburn and Marsden ward includes Farding Square, said: “The Cabinet are going to be discussing the site and who is going to be the preferred purchaser.

“Until it’s gone throughu cabinet it’s difficult to give any insight because no decision has been made.

“The site has been cleared, it’s been clear for a while now, there’s a developer interested and it’s for cabinet to decide if it’s the right developer.”

Last year, land agent GVA began marketing the 3.73-acres site in ‘prime sought after coastal location’ and invited sealed bids to be submitted by potential developers.

This also cited guidelines requiring 25 per cent affordable housing, of which 70 per cent should be set at affordable rent and 30 per cent as shared ownership.

It is thought six low-rise blocks which housed the 72 two and three-bedroom flats, before demolition, would have needed about £7m to bring them up to modern standards.

James Harrison

James Harrison , Local Democracy Reporting Service