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New owners of former HMS Ganges

PUBLISHED: 17:09 16 October 2001 | UPDATED: 10:40 03 March 2010

THE saga of HMS Ganges, a formal naval training centre on the Shotley Peninsula, opened a fresh chapter today with the news that the site has been sold to new owners.

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By Tina Heath

tina.heath@ecng.co.uk

THE saga of HMS Ganges, a formal naval training centre on the Shotley Peninsula, opened a fresh chapter today with the news that the site has been sold to new owners.

Potton Developments completed the sale of the site to Galliard Investments and East London Estates yesterday – a move which could mark the end of a proposal to build a retirement village on the site.

Their architect will be attending a meeting of Shotley Parish Council on Thursday at 7.30pm where it is hoped more will be learnt on the proposed future of the site.

Chairman of the parish council Patrick Mann said today that he hoped the meeting at the village hall would be a consultative exercise.

"Hopefully it will be the start of a consultative process between the architect and the village and hopefully it will involve some input from us," he said.

Potton Developments had secured outline planning permission for the brown field site a number of years ago but their plan to build 404 bungalows, houses and apartments for the elderly was not popular with many residents.

A campaign group was set up late last year targeted at saving the training centre from demolition and preserving some of its buildings.

The HMS Ganges Site Acquisition Team, a group headed by former Ganges boys, had hoped to raise more than £6 million to buy the site and open it up to cadets for training and sports facilities for all. The group, headed by former Ganges boy sailor Robbie Robson, 57, also had plans for a museum.

The complex was closed as a naval training centre in 1976. Potton Developments leased it to the Home Office for a time as a training centre for police cadets, but the Home Office relinquished the lease in July 1999.

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