Gateshead Council approves demolition of Felling Traveller site

The former traveller site on Baltic Road, Gateshead.
The former traveller site on Baltic Road, Gateshead. -Credit:ChronicleLive

Gateshead Council bosses have approved the demolition and repurposing of a Traveller site in Felling.

The local authority’s cabinet gathered to determine the future of the site, located on the Baltic Road industrial estate, Felling. According to council documents, the site has been left vacant since the end of 2022.

In addition, a report on the current state of the site claims the pitches and amenity blocks have since been “extensively vandalised” and are beyond repair. The site has also become a fly-tipping hot spot, requiring “continuous efforts to keep it safe”.

Gateshead Council leader Martin Gannon said: “I can remember this site in the 80s when it was well used, with a bungalow for a warden from the Travelling community."

Commenting on the cabinet’s decision, Coun Gannon continued: “It is the acceptance of the reality that the site has stayed vacant for two years. If there is demand we will make alternative provisions.”

The proposals agreed upon by the cabinet do stipulate that the site will be retained for a period to “enable a flexible response” to any sudden increase in demand from the Traveller community.

Council officers had previously recommended to the cabinet that they approve the recommendations in order to find an alternative use for the plot. Documents relating to the site also state it is costing the council approximately £32,000 a year.

The plans for the site were also open to public feedback in the council’s 2024/2025 budget consultation. A total of 72% of respondents either strongly agreed or tended to agree with the termination of the site.