FORMER Newcastle United chairman Freddy Shepherd is set to get the go-ahead for a housing development on a former school in the city, despite being accused of carrying out "token" changes to his proposals.
The offshore energy tycoon has faced a backlash from local residents since his company unveiled plans to transform the former La Sagesse School in Jesmond into a housing development worth millions.
Now – after re-submitting plans to Newcastle City Council – city leaders have been recommended to give the plans the green light with development due to take place within three years.
The Jesmond Action Group last night accused developers of “token tweaking” to get the plans past committee and said alterations did not go far enough.
But a spokesman for the Shepherd Offshore company said: “We’ve acted in a sympathetic way to the needs of the local people.
“We’ve taken all their views into consideration and we’ve done everything to meet the requirements which meant we were previously refused.
“We’ve taken everybody’s view into consideration and come through with something that is positive for the community and will create jobs.”
Plans submitted in January outlined Mr Shepherd’s bid to convert one of the main school buildings, Jesmond Towers, into 10 luxury apartments, and the construction of 60 houses and apartments on land to the west of Jesmond Towers.
The original application was rejected because the plan’s “scale, massing and layout”. Shepherd Offshore has amended its blueprints and included efforts to widen gaps between plots, alter the scale and siting of apartments and change elevations for garages.