PLANS have been unveiled for a major new housing development on the site of one of the region’s most well-known colleges.
Gateshead College campus is set to be transformed into a 21st Century community made up of an “ambitious and environmentally friendly mix of family homes and apartments”, by Newcastle developer Grainger plc, which bought the 10-acre piece of land from Gateshead Council earlier this year.
The idea behind the scheme is to create one of the most sought after addresses in the region, to “herald a new era” for the Durham Road site.
Nicola Osborne, director of development for Grainger, said: “When we first bought the site we said it deserved very special treatment, and hopefully, that is exactly what we have come up with.
“We want to turn it into one of the most sought-after addresses in the region, and believe buyers of all ages will be attracted by the location and the pleasant, leafy setting.”
The development, which it is hoped will rejuvenate the college campus area after the educational establishment announced it was to relocate to new premises at the Baltic Business Quarter, will include a neighbourhood shop and has been designed by award-winning architects Feilden Clegg Bradley.
Before Grainger bought the land from Gateshead Council, in-depth reports into traffic and road use around the new scheme were carried out, as well as studies into the ecology of the site, its wildlife and drainage.
And the developers want the public to participate in its consultation process to shape the final plans so it remains in keeping with its conservation area status, including giving local people a say on what the new estate will be called.
Ms Osborne explained that environmental benefits and sustainability were to feature in the development of the land, which had been designated for residential use before the campus was sold.
She said: “It is hoped that the scheme will help ease the shortage of family homes in the area. There are plans for a mix of prestige and affordable housing, along with new pedestrian access through the development to link Durham Road with Saltwell Park, as well as the retention and refurbishment of historic North Dene House.
“Mature trees will be retained at the former campus and historic views through to Saltwell Park will be restored.”
Tim Hall, partner at architect Feilden Clegg Bradley, said: “This is an interesting and historically important site and we have tried to make the most of its natural features.”
“We have also done a lot of work in preparation for this scheme and hope that the findings of our reports will help answer the questions that local people may have.”
Gateshead College confirmed it was due to open at its new site early next year. Principal David Cheetham said: “Today marks the start of a new chapter for the site and the college. We are pleased that plans proposed for the site provide a suitable high quality development and a sustainable future for our current campus, whilst enabling the college to relocate to superb, new, purpose-built premises on the quayside.”