Thursday, July 18, 2024
Local News from North & South Tyneside

Demolition to Make Way for New Extra Care Scheme

Work will soon start on the demolition of a former educational building and community centre to make way for a vibrant new extra care scheme planned in South Tyneside.

The Chuter Ede Community Centre in Galsworthy Road has stood empty since September 2023 after the Community Interest Organisation’s decision to close earlier in the year and after user groups were successfully relocated to alternative accommodation.

Until then, the building had remained partially open following the closure of Chuter Ede Education Centre in 2012, with the unoccupied parts of the building demolished in summer 2022. The Council is now preparing for demolition of the remaining buildings in the coming weeks.

New specialist care accommodation is proposed for part of the site, off Benton Road, with plans for 120 one and two-bed apartments designed to help people with differing levels of care and support needs to live well and independently.

It would also have an integrated Community Hub, incorporating a bistro café and multi-use spaces for activities that would be open and accessible to the general public.

Subject to planning permission, work would start on site later in 2024 and is expected to take around two years to complete.

Councillor Joanne Bell, Lead Member for Governance, Finance and Corporate Services at South Tyneside Council, said: “The existing community centre building is old, not fit-for-purpose and beyond economic repair. It is also a magnet for anti-social behaviour having had several instances of break ins, vandalism and arson.

“This not only poses a significant health and safety risk but incurs ongoing costs to keep the building safe and secure.

“Although work to create the proposed new Extra Care scheme is not anticipated to begin until later in the year, it is important that we press ahead on clearing the site at this time.

“The demolition is a key milestone in the plans for the future of the site which will be transformed into a vibrant development that will provide much-needed specialist accommodation and support for adults with care needs.

“I’m delighted we were able to support those groups who previously occupied the Community Centre. It’s also fantastic that the new scheme will provide modern social spaces for the general public and local groups, bringing the community together once again.”

The proposed new Extra Care Scheme will be developed and managed by housing association Karbon Homes, as part of a partnership with South Tyneside Council to help address the lack of specialist, affordable accommodation options in the borough.

Lea Smith, Head of Land and Partnerships for Karbon Homes, said: “It’s great to be working with South Tyneside Council on their Extra Care ambitions for the borough, creating places that help empower people with additional care and support needs to live life to the full and that help bring local communities together.

“An Extra Care scheme on the site will play an important role in addressing the lack of specialist affordable accommodation in the South Tyneside area, accommodation designed to support people who may need care and support to live well and independently.”

The remainder of the site, where the former school building currently stands, is earmarked for housing, with the existing Community Hut and Multi Use Games Area (MUGA) remaining in place until any such development is brought forward.

The Council also intends to retain and improve the quality of the existing playing pitches on the wider site, outside the extra care development footprint.