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From ordinary to the extraordinary.

Multi-million pound plans to transform the riverside on South Tyneside have been unveiled.

The derelict East Holborn site, South Shields, is to be turned into a major regional development creating more than 300 new jobs and attracting around pounds 200m of public and private sector investment.

East Holborn will also act as a European gateway, a portal to the region for national and international visitors. The mixed development - homes, offices, shops, hotel, restaurants, leisure, health and fitness facilities - will create a vibrant new centre on the edge of South Shields, which will link the area with the town centre.

It will consolidate and extend the lively and historic Customs House/Mill Dam quarter. Another key feature will be a riverside walkway - around three-quarters of a kilometre long, providing greater public access.

The plans have been unveiled by property developer Branmore Investments, which has submitted an application for outline planning permission to South Tyneside Council. It is hoped the first phase will be well underway for the visit by the Tall Ships in 2005.

The development already has widespread support - including that of local MP David Miliband. He said: "I am always pleased to hear about ambitious plans for regeneration that have the interests of the community at heart.

"The riverside is a great asset and we need to ensure that in the future it is used for a mixture of work, leisure and housing. This plan shows that the transformation of South Tyneside can capture the imagination and I look forward to seeing the plans develop."

Coun Paul Waggott, leader of South Tyneside Council, said: "This is the kind of redevelopment proposal which fits in with the council's overall ambitions for the regeneration of the borough. The application for outline planning permission has only just been received and will now be thoroughly assessed before going to the planning committee.

"Although it is in is the very early stages, this type of large-scale investment and development of a prime riverside location is very much in line with the South Tyneside transformational plan: From ordinary to extraordinary."

Alan Mordain, Branmore director, said: "This is a flagship development for a strategic regional site. Our proposals are based on high quality, high impact buildings. We want a development for which South Tyneside and the whole region can be proud.

"South Tyneside needs a beacon development - one which will make an exceptional contribution to its surroundings.

"Our proposals promise to start the transformation of South Tyneside outlined in the Comedia study. East Holborn is positioned as a potential gateway to Tyneside. Transformation is critical for the local area but will benefit the wider region particularly as we bid for the Capital of Culture 2008 status."

Branmore has pulled together a team of national and international specialists, including Ryder, acting as master planners on the project; Connell Mott MacDonald, engineering consultant; The Newton Partnership, cost consultant; and Sanderson Young, residential agent.

Branmore and its professional team have undertaken wide consultation during the last 12 months, including `Transformation' working groups, presentations and liaison with the local council and adjacent interests.

The East Holborn development has been designed to ensure it complements the council's own corporate priorities - enhancing a brownfield, riverside site, creating employment and enterprise, establishing new cultural and leisure assets, and promoting community inclusion.

The outline plans also meet government priorities highlighted in the Urban White Paper and meet the drive to establish mixed-use developments on brownfield sites.

The development is expected to be constructed in four phases and is due to be completed within 10 years.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Apr 24, 2003
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