Residents angered over name of new South Shields street

Phoenix Court, Westoe South Shields
Phoenix Court, Westoe South Shields

Residents living in a South Tyneside street do not want to see a pheonix rise from the ashes.

People in Westoe Drive, South Shields, have been left angered over the naming of a new housing development - which they beleived would finally see the back of any reminder of the former drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre Phoenix House.

The building was bulldozed following its closure in 2012.

The land was taken over by Places for People who have gone on to build a new housing development with a number of names put forward as to what it could be called - including Pheonix Court.

Residents had hoped with the new build would see any links to Phoenix House - which they say has caused them a number of concerns over the years - come to an end.

One resident said he and others have been left angry and surprised when signs went up naming it Phoenix Court.

He said: “Several names were suggested by local residents included “Ingleside” or “Nightingale” - both of which have historic connections with this site.

“Many people, because of the history and the problems which were linked to Phoenix House, want a clean break.

“We have since been told it was the local councillors who chose the name which, given the history of the problems associated with the building, we are surprised at.”

Phoenix House in Westoe Drive, South Shields, was the North East’s first long-term residential rehabilitation service when it opened in 1985. The pioneering drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre operated for more than 25 years, helping people tackle their addictions, before it closed its doors for the final time in 2012.

It could provide accommodation and support for up to 37 people at a time who underwent intensive courses of treatment and counselling.

The land has now made way for a number of two-bedroomed apartments for residents aged 55 and over.

A spokesperson for Places for People said: “We are committed to building homes and places where people choose to live and communities thrive. We are pleased to be revitalising this area with the Phoenix Court development which provides 22 high quality, two bedroom self-contained apartments, for people aged 55 and over.

“When naming the new development a shortlist of names was provided to the local authority for selection.”

A South Tyneside Council spokesperson said: “Ward councillors selected the name from a shortlist provided by Places for People.

“One of the names listed was Phoenix Court.”