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LOCAL FURY: Bitterly contested plans for housing on former school site

LOCAL FURY: Bitterly contested plans for housing on former school site

Plans for 99 homes on the site of the demolished Chapel Park Middle School, Image: ID Partnership/Gentoo Homes

Contested plans to build almost 100 homes on the site of a demolished Newcastle school have been approved despite fury from locals.

A developer has been given the go-ahead to put a 99-house estate on the former Chapel Park Middle School in the outer west.

Gentoo Homes’ designs for the Granville Drive site, in Chapel Park, were approved at a meeting of Newcastle Council’s Planning Committee on Friday despite heavy public opposition, with dozens of objectors claiming that the land is being over-developed and angry at the loss of green space.

Among the complaints of the 93 residents who have objected to the scheme are claims that an influx of traffic to the new homes will leave roads “overloaded” and anger that a proposed £550,000 payment from the developer to make up for the loss of the school’s old playing fields will be spent on the Gala Field in Newbiggin Hall rather than in Chapel Park itself – something one local called “in all honesty a disgrace”.

However, the committee followed the advice of city officials and voted to approve the scheme.

Council planners have recommended that the committee , subject to a legal agreement being signed and receiving assurances that it would not “unacceptably increase flood risk in the area”.

Coun Henry Gallagher, who represents Dene and South Gosforth, said: “I remember the residents had reservations.

“100 houses [were built] across the road from me a couple of years ago and now that they’re there they have no affect on me at all.”

The proposed dwellings would comprise a mix of two, three, four and five bedroom properties, mainly two storeys, but with four bungalows included.

First opened in 1974, Chapel Park Middle School was closed in 2005 as the area was controversially reorganised into a two-tier education system.


Words: Herbert Soden, Local Democracy Reporter

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