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Tyneside entrepreneur Mr Joe Robertson of Newcastle’s plan for a fun park on the Manors goods yard site.

Planners who want to develop a science park on a Newcastle city centre site against the wishes of the land’s council owners have started statutory purchase procedures

Newcastle City Council favours a private sector scheme, backing Tyneside entrepreneur Mr Joe Robertson’s plan for a fun park on the Manors goods yard site.

Yesterday Mr Robertson revealed be would not develop his proposed £10m leisure park on an alternative site. The plans include a 16 screen cinema, a roller rink. bowling alley, soft play area. American diner and parking for 1,500 cars.

He said: “I cannot see a site in Newcastle at the present time I would consider as an alternative to Manors.”

The Tyne Wear Urban Development Corporation believes the Manors site is the most appropriate one for a high technology science park. A spokeswoman for the TWDC said the corporation had started a statutory process to- “vest” both the BR and council owned land‚ the equivalent of making a compulsory purchase order.

The TWDC has now issued development briefs to three or four developers asking them to come up with proposals for a science park. The leader of Newcastle City – Council, Coun. Jeremy Beecham, said he believed the vesting process was a bid to get things moving.

“They have got to start the procedure, if they want to do anything with the land they are going to require. “What they start, they can stop ‚ I do not know if they will.”

The vesting procedure is through the Department of the Environment which will contact the owners of the land to ask if they have any objections to the process. Once their views are known, the department decides whether so proceed with the vesting order. The issue could then go to Parliament.

The TWDC spokeswoman hMd: “The message we are trying to get across Is that we want the best of both worlds. We accept there is a case for a leisure park, but we have taken professional advice as to the location of the science park. Newcastle should have both.”

But a spokes worn* for the British Rail Property Board, which owns about five acres of the site, said yesterday the company had agreed to sell the, site to the TWDC “The interested parties were asked to make offers,” she said. “we the agreed to sell to
the TWDC.”‘

Qne acre close to the railway line will remain BR property to allow the completion of the modernisation and electrification of the line.