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Sophie Brownson

South Tyneside College in new talks for major housing development after Bellway Homes deal fails

A deal to build more than 200 homes on the site of South Tyneside College has fallen through, college bosses have confirmed.

Housing developer Bellway Homes (North East) had previously agreed to buy the site of the college's Westoe Campus in South Shields in order to build 220 new homes.

Proposal documents issued by Bellway Homes to residents as part of a consultation last year said the firm's development would "deliver 220 new homes on the site, providing high-quality living space with attractive landscaping for future residents."

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The former plans said the 1950/60s college buildings would be demolished to make way for a range of two to five bedroom homes. The properties would come complete with garages and gardens, with the development itself featuring public open space and pedestrian links.

The deal came after South Tyneside Council's revealed ambitious plans to move the college into South Shields town centre to help increase footfall and regenerate the area. Subject to planning permission, the relocated college campus will go in the Barrington Street area and work is underway to free up the final sites needed to facilitate the proposed move.

An artist's impression of the new college campus planned for South Shields town centre. (South Tyneside Council)

Today, South Tyneside College has confirmed that the deal with Bellway Homes is no longer going ahead, however, the college is in talks with another house builder.

Bellway Homes confirmed that it has decided not to progress with the scheme at St George’s Avenue but declined to comment.

A spokeswoman for Tyne Coast College, of which South Tyneside College and South Shields Marine School are part, said: “We can confirm that we are no longer dealing with Bellway.

"However, I can confirm that the college is progressing a sale with an alternate house builder. This is currently confidential but, we will release further details when we are in a position to do so.”

Planning permission for the Bellway Homes development had not been granted before the deal fell through and council bosses said any new deal would also need to be approved by planning officials.

A Tyne Coast College spokeswoman said: “Our alternate potential purchaser would need to go through the planning process for building residential accommodation on the site.”

A South Tyneside Council spokeswoman said: “The planning application from Bellway never reached the stage of having been validated. Future proposals for the site would be subject to the usual planning process, as per any new build development.”

Earlier this year, Cllr Tracey Dixon, Leader of South Tyneside Council, said there was "overwhelming support for South Tyneside College to be moved into the town centre" following a consultation.

She said: "Subject to planning permission, the relocated college campus will go in the Barrington Street area, bringing thousands of additional people into the town centre.

"Without this type of intervention, redevelopment of many sites is not viable. By doing this and working with partner organisations such as the college we can bring about significant change."


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