The local Council Tory Leadership suffered a defeat this evening when their plan ot sell off land at Willow House was referred back for further consideration.
It is understood that one Conservative councillor absented himself from the meeting without appointing a substitute. (He was apparently elsewhere in West Offices when the meeting was taking place)
The result was that a vote on a “call in” was tied and the Labour chair used his casting vote to stall the development.
There are likely to be repercussions for the Council as the sale of the former elderly persons home site for development was needed to fund new elderly care homes.
The main concern apparently centred around an area of open space next to the home which would have been developed for the first time. Locals say that it is used for informal recreational activity.
There are several other controversial plans in the pipeline which would see similar open spaces developed. In the Acomb ward the development of the old Manor school playing field has been criticised while there is also a major campaign to save threatened open space at Lowfields.
The called in decision will now be referred back to the Executive who will have to decide whether to re-advertise the site for sale and, if so, with what conditions. Further delays to the care programme seem inevitable.
The disagreement within the Tories is the latest in signs of unrest with Council Leader David Carr heavily criticised since unilaterally sacking two executive members and later resisting publication of a report into contractor appointments.
Other projects such as the, Tory backed, shipping container village on Piccadilly and arrangements to sign the final Community Stadium contract are also mired in controversy.