Alliance Councillor Patrick Clarke has urged the South Eastern Regional College to put on the open market for sale the former Newcastle Technical College at Donard Street Newcastle which is currently the subject of a controversial planning application submitted by Oaklee Housing to build social housing units. All Newcastle Councillors are opposed to this current planning application.
Councillor Clarke added: “I believe that the current former Newcastle Technical College at Donard would be better placed on the open market for sale by the South Eastern Regional College.
“Currently there is a planning application submitted by Oaklee Housing to build social housing units which has been totally opposed at every opportunity by all Newcastle Councillors and local residents in the area who remain convinced that the Donard Street site is totally unsuitable for social housing.
“Building social housing in the middle of a built-up business area at Donard Street where the majority of businesses are bars, off sales, taxi ranks, fast food carry outs and a hotel would not be suitable for people to live.
“Oaklee Housing would be better placed to withdraw their planning application to build on this former Newcastle technical college and look for an alternative site which is more spacious and not in or near businesses or retail outlets in the centre of Newcastle.
“If the SERC were to put the former Newcastle Technical College at Donard Street on the open market for sale then a more suitable building project could be identified that would attract business or tourism to the Donard Street site and which would create economic regeneration in Newcastle. Such a business project would also certainly gain widespread community support.
“I have made written representations to the South Eastern Regional College and have asked them to give serious consideration to this proposal.
“This section of Newcastle around Donard Street would benefit far more in the long term from suitable retail units or businesses investing which would hopefully transform the site and bring increased footfall into the town,” said Alliance Councillor Patrick Clarke.