South Shields flats site '˜needs to be social housing'

Assurances are needed over the sale of a plot of land which was previously used for social housing, a councillor claims

Thursday, 2nd March 2017, 5:00 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:04 am
Flats in Farding Square, South Shields, before they were demolished.

It was announced earlier this week that 3.73 acres of land at the former Farding Square flats in Marsden, South Shields, is up for redevelopment.

The land, until last year, was the site of six low-rise, post-war blocks of flats, which were built in 1953, and in a poor condition.

Coun Lee Hughes

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With major structural work and internal improvements required, as well as issues with disability access, lifts, and lack of parking spaces, the 72 flats would have needed around £7m spent on them to bring them up to modern standards.

The site is now being marketed.

Coun Lee Hughes, the Putting People First Representative, wants guarantees that any developer who takes over the site - which is being marketed by Newcastle-based company GVA - will be providing social housing.

He said: “That land used to house a number of social housing tenants. These have all be rehoused elsewhere in the borough, but it means we no longer have these homes for others to use.

Coun Lee Hughes

“I want a guarantee that any new potential new homes earmarked for that site would be used for social housing.

“We can’t just be getting rid of land and then watch it being turned into private developments.”

Council bosses have said they expect to receive proposals for “mixed” tenure.

A spokesman for South Tyneside Council said: “We are currently inviting tenders from developers and we expect to receive proposals for mixed tenure development which will be evaluated in due course.”