Contractor appointed to do initial work on abandoned Holborn site on the South Shields River

The South Tyneside Council has appointed John F Hunt Regeneration Ltd to carry out civil works on the disused docks and old brownfields in Holborn, South Shields.

The remediation work will prepare the nine-hectare site for its transformation into what the council chiefs promise to be “a thriving riverside neighborhood for living and working, with new, high-quality public space.”

Plans include replacing a failing quay edge wall with a new one and raising the old dry docks to overcome severe flooding issues. Three of the quays will be restored in order to preserve the industrial heritage of the region.

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An aerial view of the Holborn site.

Board leaders say John F Hunt Regeneration will focus on resolving the site’s existing constraints, including contamination, flood risk and an obsolete retaining wall, to ensure it is suitable for residential development and subsequent commercial.

The site, which is currently on two levels, will be reshaped to create a gentle slope between Commercial Road and Tyne, making it more suitable for development.

The “ballast hills” and an eight-meter-high concrete retaining wall will be removed.

It is also receiving £ 9.4million in funding to support the delivery of new office space in the corporate area across from Commercial Road.

Councilor Tracey Dixon, Head of South Tyneside Council, said: “We are delighted to welcome John F Hunt to join us on this exciting project.

“This area has been largely abandoned for many years and bears the characteristics of its former heavy industrial use, which currently constitute constraints to development.

“Civil works are needed to overcome these significant site issues and make it suitable for a mixed-use development that will provide family homes and offices, creating hundreds of new jobs.

“This project will bring brownfields back into service and transform them into a vibrant riverside neighborhood that people will be proud to call home.”

The project responds to the council’s key priorities to create the conditions for recovery and investment and to invest in the natural and built environment.

Work is expected to start on the site at the start of the new year and will be carried out in phases, with land and marine improvements being completed in fall 2023.

Steve Johnson, Director of John F Hunt Regeneration, said: “This brownfield site poses very complex and difficult issues related to its historical use.

“We are delighted to have been selected by the South Tyneside Council as a delivery partner, to bring the site back from its derelict state to a sustainable place for future development. “

Mott MacDonald Limited is acting as the lead designer for the civil engineering element of the project, while the contract will be administered by Driver Project Services.

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