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February 21, 2010 5:17 PM

Councillor Neil Hamilton has welcomed the council's decision not to progress possible plans for some housing on the Parkway site. Although more homes are needed in the area for elderly people in particular, the Catholic Diocese of Newcastle and Hexham has now held discussions with council officers about using the site for the possible expansion of the St John Vianney School.

Councillor Neil Hamilton explained: "The discussions are at an early stage but the Diocese has outlined options that would see 90% of the Parkway site utilised for school buildings and playing fields.

"The time-scale for any new school is unknown as funding is still being sought."

In December the council began a consultation of the possible development of additional housing across the city, which including developing the Parkway site.

The consultation was always that - a consultation - and no decision had been made to commit the Parkway land for some housing.

However, a different decision would have been made if members of the Executive had been made aware of the earlier consultation and that the Diocese were considering the site for expansion of the St John Vianney School.