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Final Report For Newcastle City Council
Canada House Chepstow Street Manchester M1 5FW Tel. 0161 236 1736 Fax. 0161 236 1737 E-mail Rob.Goldup@cbuchanan.co.uk
In association with
Lamb & Edge
Prepared by: Status: Verified by: Issue No: Approved by: Date:
Directory & File Name: I:\8099X _ Newcastle Discovery Quarte r Study \ Reports \ pagemaker \ Report January 2005.pmd
2. Policy and Strategy Context 3. Physical Appraisal 4. Market Appraisal 5. Aspirations 6. Transport Analysis 7. Development Strategy 8. Area Frameworks 9. Regional Conference/Convention Centre Location 10. Delivery Plan
Appendix1 – Cost Report Appendix2 – Landowner/Developer Aspirations Matrix
covering all three areas. Given the size and location of the Brewery there was an obvious logic to this as the combined areas formed one large continuous swath of land and property directly to the west of the City Centre, from St. James’ Park in the north, down to the River Tyne in the south.
1.1.1 In February 2004, Newcastle City Council commissioned Colin Buchanan, Shared Intelligence, Lamb & Edge and Turner &Townsend to prepare a development strategy for the area on the western edge of Newcastle City Centre known as the Discovery Quarter. Centred on St James Boulevard, the Discovery Quarter encompasses an extensive area between Newcastle Central Station, the River Tyne, Westgate Road and the eastern edge of Newcastle Business Park. In March 2004 we were also commissioned to draw up an urban design & transportation framework for the area to the north of Gallowgate from St. James’ Park Stadium to the edge of the City Centre. 1.1.2 Subsequently in June 2004 following the announcement by Scottish & Newcastle of the imminent closure of the Tyne Brewery, the originally separate (but related) commissions for Discovery Quarter and Gallowgate were amalgamated, along with a new commission to prepare a development strategy for the Brewery site, to form one overall commission
1.2 A City in Renaissance
1.2.1 Newcastle Gateshead has succeeded in transforming its image in recent years. It is now seen nationally and internationally as a vibrant city and a regional capital with a strong identity. Culturally-led regeneration programmes have transformed the Tyne waterfront and Grainger Town. The area has established itself as one of the UK’s leading short-break tourist destinations and its improved profile has made it popular with property investors across all sectors of the market. 1.2.2 Successful efforts have been made to regenerate Newcastle’s Quayside and Grainger Town and St James’s Boulevard has become an important new focus for development. New office, residential and leisure development is emerging along the length of the new route. 1.2.3 There is clear evidence that Newcastle’s renaissance is spreading to the west of the City Centre, from the highly sought after loft apartments of the Turnbull’s warehouse to the east, through the Central Square office
development to the International Centre for Life and Newcastle Arena. The area has been highlighted as a potential location for the proposed Regional Conference Centre. The area west of St James’ Boulevard has been designated as part of the NewcastleGateshead Housing Market Renewal Pathfinder to address low demand and create sustainable communities. 1.2.5 The City Centre is physically constrained by the River Tyne to the south, Central Motorway to the east and Town Moor to the north. Consequently, there is broad consensus that the area to the west of the City Centre holds the key to its future growth.
1.2 The Study Area
1.2.1 The study area is a vital gateway to the City Centre by both road and rail and has seen significant infrastructure improvements in recent years, most notably the creation of St James’ Boulevard, which has established a major spine running north south through the area. 1.2.2 The study area includes and adjoins some of the City’s most important attractions and assets – St. James’ Park, Discovery Museum, International Centre for Life, Metro Radio Arena, Central Station and Newcastle College. The study area also has a number heritage/ townscape assets including: the Tyne Gorge; Pottery Lane; some of the Brewery buildings; sections of the town wall; Discovery Museum; and the Stephenson buildings. 1.2.3 There is strong property market interest in the area. Gallowgate/St James Boulevard is emerging as a major new office quarter for the City, and the area to the south of Central Station is also experiencing office development interest, building on the success of the Central Square development. Parts of the study area are also subject to development pressure for new housing.
1.2.4 The area is already emerging as a major focus for new development in the City Centre. Stakeholders have aspirations for the area to become.
• Newcastle’s next major office
• a centre for the knowledge
Scotswood Road, the comparatively under utilised east-west railway line and the Brewery site itself are significant barriers to pedestrian movement within the study area and sever and separate the main blocks of land use/activity. 1.2.7 Although served by a number of pedestrian crossings, St James Boulevard also acts as a significant barrier to east-west pedestrian movement. 1.2.8 Although the City Council owns some key sites land ownership is fragmented in many areas and ground conditions are poor in some locations by virtue of former industrial land uses. The urban form and density of development within the study area also differs quite markedly from the core of the City Centre. Many of the sites to the south of Central Station house typically ‘edge of centre’ industrial and warehousing uses and have a comparatively low density of development.
• a place for City living • an anchor tourism destination • a distinctive part of the City’s
• a multi-modal transport hub. • a link between the City Centre and
West End 1.2.5 However, the market may not want to deliver all these aspirations, also the area has a finite capacity and there are competing demands on key sites. 1.2.6 The study area is also constrained in various ways. The western edge of the City Centre comprises a complex mix of land uses, ownerships, road and rail infrastructure and challenging topography as the area slopes down to the Tyne. The main East Coast Main Line rail bridge, the Redheugh Bridge,
Figure 1.1: Study Area
St James’ Park
Gallowgate Corporation Street
St James’ Boulevard Central Station
Forth Street ICL George Street Marlborough Crescent Arena
New Redheugh Bridge Road
Figure 2.1 : Context
1.3.1 In response to the Brief given to us by Newcastle City Council we have set out to: - Develop a strategy establishing general principles of land use and development; - Appraise the contribution of key sites and potential development to that strategy; - Identify and prioritise actions/interventions to realise the strategy; - Set out delivery programme/mechanisms and provide a business case for future funding bids; - Develop for Gallowgate and Brewery Site a more detailed urban design & transportation framework. 1.3.2 We set out to discover: • does it function as a distinctive and coherent part of the City? • how does it relate to the City Centre and the adjoining communities of the West End? • does the mix of existing and proposed land uses reinforce its identity? • is the Discovery Quarter truly emerging as a ‘place’? What sort of place do we want it to be? • how can the public sector work with the market to ensure that the area realises its potential and contributes to sustainable
market renewal so that the whole becomes more than the sum of its parts? 1.3.3 Parts of the area have already been subject to a raft of feasibility studies and strategies over the last five years, but this study is the first to encompass the whole of this large area to the west of the City Centre. 1.3.4 The level of property market interest in the area is significant, and it is clear that the strategy’s primary focus will not be in creating market interest. Instead, the study has considered whether the wide ranging aspirations of both the public and private sector are compatible and achievable; how the public sector can best add value to the regeneration of the area, including managing the competing demands for accessibility between the private car and the pedestrian; and the long-term management of the mix of land uses and activities in the area to ensure that the aspiration to create a vibrant, diverse and multi-functional part of the City Centre is sustainable.
2. Policy and Strategy Context
in the next few years by Local Development Framework and Area Action Plans. Many of the land use designations are now outdated, with significant areas zoned for industrial development.
City Centre Action Plan
2. Policy and Strategy Context
2.1 Planning Context
2.1.1 A key part of our commission was updating, building upon and drawing together previous and existing strategies covering the area, and making sure that proposals link with relevant, existing and developing initiatives and policies. The following is a summary of some of the key elements of that policy and strategy context. A more detailed summary and appraisal are included in the Background Report.
The report highlights the importance of improving quality of life (e.g. City Centre housing, public services); quality of opportunity (e.g. access to learning and range of employment) and quality of place (e.g. legibility, permeability) and identifies several key themes, which need to be addressed if the City Centre is to realise these goals.
2.1.3 In June 1999, the City Council produced its first City Centre Action Plan in order to reinforce its commitment to the City Centre and to develop its role as Regional Capital, European and International City.
2.1.4 The first Review of the City Centre Action Plan was published in 2002, with significant input from the newly established City Centre Panel. The Action Plan sets out a vision and considers core themes. It also makes area-specific proposals that relate to the study area.
2.2 Regeneration Context
2.2.1 While the area’s relationships south and east, with the City Centre and the river is important, if it is to play its role in the regeneration of the wider City, its relationship with the predominantly residential areas to the west of the City Centre needs to be developed to their mutual advantage. A large part of the study area sits within the Housing Market Renewal / New Deal for the Communities (HMR/ NDC) boundaries. Significant parts of the study area have a key role to play in helping to achieve their objectives and tying the wider area into the City Centre and waterfront. Even the parts of the study area outside their boundaries have an important role to play. 2.2.2 The West End Regeneration Plan (2001) considered it likely that there will be continuing pressures for expansion of the City Centre and these need to be made to work to the advantage of local communities in terms of employment opportunities, improved local services and a better environment. It identified the area north of the College on Westmorland
The Role and Relevance of Newcastle City Centre - Demos 2.1.5 In 2003, the City Council commissioned
Demos to review the role and relevance of the City Centre to the economic, social and cultural life of Newcastle and indeed the Region as a whole, in order to build a new set of priorities for the future. Demos consider that there is broad consensus on the aspirations for the City Centre but considerable divergence of opinion on the ‘art of the possible’.
Unitary Development Plan 2.1.2 The UDP was adopted by the City Council in 1998, and is due to be superseded
Road as a potential new neighbourhood centre. It also encouraged improved links through the ‘Elswick Riverside’ area to the waterfront, and suggested a review of primary school provision in the area to take account of potential development in this area. 2.2.3 The Area Development Framework (ADF) for the Inner West was produced in 2003. The initial programme of interventions lay to the west of the study area focusing on existing housing markets. The strategic approach to the West End is currently being revised to ensure that new housing market opportunities at the city centre fringe are harnessed to help deliver market renewal. The HMR Pathfinder is currently working with the NDC on producing a coordinated strategy, which will update the ADF. They are seeking to generate a housing market in the area and to attract a greater balance and mix of housing type and tenure. There is a particular lack of family housing for sale and a lack of modern housing, and a lot of the sites that are available for development at the moment are too isolated and piecemeal to interest private housebuilders. A masterplan has recently been commissioned for the adjoining Elswick area (The Elswick Masterplan), which will look to pull together and update all the previous work that has been done in this area. 2.2.4 With regard to economic development, NDC have identified a need for business start up units as well as managed workspace. There is also a demand from light
manufacturing and processing businesses. 2.2.5 In September 2003 the Draft Newcastle Gateshead Pathfinder Prospectus was submitted to the ODPM and a programme for 2003 – 2006 is currently being delivered. The objectives for this HMR Pathfinder are: • To strengthen and stabilise the housing market through better matching supply to the needs and aspirations of local people. • To promote and provide a wider choice of good quality in housing accommodation, specification and design with improved opportunity and access for all. • To foster distinctive, attractive neighbourhoods in which people from diverse backgrounds will choose to live, learn, work and invest. • To manage, enhance and improve the physical, economic, environmental, social and cultural assets of the neighbourhood. 2.2.6 In February 2004 the City Council approved the LDF Interim Policy Statement on Housing and its accompanying Interim Planning Guidance on the Release of Land for Housing. The Guidance requires all applicants for housing schemes of 10 units or more to justify their proposals in relation to housing market renewal or regeneration objectives. Schemes not meeting these objectives will be refused planning permission.
2.3 Transport Policy Context
2.3.1 Government policy on transport and planning is set out in Planning Policy Guidance 13: Transport (March 2001). PPG13 reaffirms the Government’s approach to transport; to reduce the propensity to use the private motor car and only allow development that is accessible by a broad range of modes. Importantly it advises local authorities to give priority to people over ease of traffic movement and plan to provide more road space to pedestrians, cyclists and public transport in town centres, local neighbourhoods and other areas with a mixture of land uses. 2.3.2 It also recognises that the availability of car parking has a major influence on the means of transport people choose. Local authorities should therefore look to reduce the levels of parking required by encouraging use of more sustainable transport choices; not requiring developers to provide more car parking spaces than they themselves require; and encouraging the shared use of car parking. 2.3.3 The PPG also stresses that traffic management should contribute to planning objectives by:
Reducing severance, noise, local air pollution and traffic accidents; Promoting safe walking, cycling and public transport across the whole journey;
Improve road safety and reduce the fear of transport related crime
2.3.5 The core strategies adopted to achieve these objectives are: • Changing land use patterns to reduce the need to travel and to provide greater choice • Increasing transport choice by providing alternatives to the car and to road freight transport • Managing traffic to inhibit growth and to reduce its adverse effects on safety and environment • Providing increased road capacity but only where this is essential after allowing for the effects of the above traffic reduction measures • Safeguarding the historic investment in infrastructure by maintaining it in a safe and usable condition
2.3.6 The application of maximum parking standards and the requirement for Travel Plans in conjunction with new developments are recognised as important tools in controlling traffic generation associated with new developments. Parking standards are proposed to be generally in line with PPG13. 2.3.7 In Policy T4 the UDP states that “parking provision will be managed to protect environmental quality and the viability of commercial areas especially the city centre.” Policy T4.1 further states that public car parking will be managed to: Support the commercial viability of the city centre Maximise vehicle turnover, and Facilitate the replacement of parking space lost as a result of redevelopment
Improving the attractiveness of urban areas and allowing efficient use of land; and
Helping to avoid or manage congestion pressures, which might arise in central areas from locational
policies. 2.3.4 The key objectives of the Tyne and Wear Local Transport Plan 2001-2006 are to: • Improve access to services and facilities for all, particularly those with mobility problems • • Promote economic growth through regeneration and improved prosperity Improve links between public transport networks and improve integration of land use and
2.3.8 It is the policy of the Council (UDP Policy T4.2) that the city centre public parking stock will be maintained at 10,000 spaces. Growth in demand above this level is to be accommodated through public transport improvements, park and ride and incentives for car sharing introduced to the public parking stock. Table 2.1: Maximum parking standards for city centre developments
Land use B1 business uses B2 general industrial Hotels Housing for sale Social housing Sheltered housing Parking standard 1 per 200m2 gfa or for proven operational needs 1 per 200m2 1 per bedroom + 1 per manager 1 per dwelling 1 per 2 dwellings 1 per 3 dwellings 1 per unit of warden accommodation Student housing 2 per development for disabled/essential users 2 per development for visitors 1 per unit of warden accommodation 1 per 20 bed spaces over 40 bed spaces
2.3.9 The UDP states that parking provision in the city centre should meet essential needs only and deter unnecessary traffic from entering the central area. Thus, the UDP places considerable emphasis on the provision of additional city centre parking as public parking rather than as dedicated parking, while constraining overall provision. 2.3.10 The City Council’s maximum parking standards in Development Control Policy Statement 23 for the land uses most relevant to the study area are summarised in Table 2.1 below. Other uses such as assembly and leisure are to be determined on an individual basis.
below, pulling out key issues, points and comments. West Central Area Development 2.4.3 Options Study (PWC) – January 1999 A linear study area focused around the St James Boulevard (West Central Corridor), from Redheugh Bridge in south to Gallowgate in the north. The purpose of the study was to review redevelopment opportunities of the study area following the implementation of the St James Boulevard. 2.4.4 The study concluded that three core areas naturally emerged in the Western Corridor: 1. Southern Gateway – Scotswood Road / Redheugh Bridge junction. A Commercial / Regional Leisure Quarter, providing an entry -
to the Centre for Life and Newcastle College 3. Gallowgate / City Walls – Office Quarter. A commercial centre linking to Eldon Sq, St James Park and adjacent conservation areas and ancient monuments. 2.4.5 The report identifies a vision / development framework for the area which includes the following key ingredients: Redheugh bridgehead (‘Southern Gateway’) and Gallowgate identified as ‘gateway’ areas. The Southern Gateway shall take the form of a circus development. The Corridor should concentrate on new office and leisure/cultural development which would be significant on a regional or national scale (i.e. did not seek a purely local market) Identify a number of critical areas for early development which would set
2.4 Key Reports
2.4.1 Four previous pieces of work that specifically covered our study area (in whole or part) are of particular importance: 1. West Central Area Development Options Study - 1999 2. Gallowgate Masterplan - 1999 3. Newcastle Central Station Development Options Study – 2000 4. Elswick Wharf Area Accessibility Study – 2001 2.4.2 Given relevance of these documents, it was appropriate that we gave them significant consideration. We have set out in the Background Report summaries of the reports together with our comments upon them. We have set out a very brief overview of these
monument in the form of a circus with strong buildings and landscape. 2. Discovery Museum and Central Area – visual focal point and Cultural Quarter. The development of a major open space to reinforce the growth of a major cultural quarter focused on the Discovery Museum with links
The West Central Route itself in the
centre and south to the southern parcel of land. 5. Creation of the eastern link over the metro tunnel, resulting in a wide, tree lined pedestrian boulevard. 6. Creation of a performance space, which is sunny and sheltered. 7. The creation of a new “City Gateway” and landmark building on the axis of St James Boulevard.
development High quality development and public realm to be sought throughout the area; - Development shall be human in scale, with relative low rise buildings throughout the corridor, with exception of the Gallowgate area; Opportunities to introduce at least one major new open space – preferably associated with the Discovery Museum; - Need to maximise opportunities provided by high quality heritage features; - Need to provide high quality pedestrian routes. This includes: A new spine route linking Newcastle College through the Discovery Quarter to Theatre Village and into Eldon Square;
form of an urban boulevard; and East-west routes across the corridor including Westgate Road Road, and an
additional pedestrian route 2.4.6 A commitment to a ‘Boulevard’ type link through the area, rather than urban motorway was found to be of critical importance. Gallowgate Masterplan (DEGW) - 1999 2.4.7 The masterplan was developed for two connected parcels, either side of Gallowgate. The northern parcel includes the land between Gallowgate and Strawberry Place, with Barrack Road as its eastern boundary and Leazes Park Road as its eastern boundary. The southern parcel lies between St James Boulevard to the west and the Town Wall to the east, with Bath Lane as its southern boundary. 2.4.8 The main aims appear to be: 3. The creation of a mixed-use area, especially in the Gallowgate block, with an area of offices fronting Gallowgate and St James Boulevard. 4. Creation of links from the Metro Station eastward towards the city
8. The opening up of a view of the Town Wall along an axis lying due south of the Metro Station. 2.4.9 The constraints identified include: 9. The metro tunnels 10. The existing junction of St James Boulevard and Gallowgate 11. The potential exposure of the site 12. The existence of Wellbar House 13. The “truly citywide scale” of St James Park
Newcastle Central Station Development 2.4.10 Options Study (Llewelyn-Davies) March 2000. The study area is predominantly located to the south of Newcastle Central Station between Redheugh Bridge in the west and the High Level Bridge in the east. The western extent of the study area overlaps with the Discovery Quarter. The aim of the study is to develop a realistic and flexible strategy for the regeneration of the study area that seeks to establish a dynamic and viable mixed-use area within Newcastle City Centre 2.4.11 The study’s townscape appraisal identified 4 broad character zones: Neville St and Central Station Clavering Place (within Conservation Area, including Turnbull) South of Central Station – Stephenson’s Workshop etc. Forth Banks major land blocks 2.4.12 The key findings of the study included a number of ‘Strategic Objectives’: Reinforce the distinctive nature of the sub areas, in particular the historic fabric Introduce diversity of new residential, employment, leisure, tourism etc development Enhance linkages through the study area from Quayside to the City Centre Create a gateway north of the station worthy of a European Regional Capital with priority to pedestrians using the station and accessing the City Centre Evolve a co-ordinated public realm strategy 2.4.13 The overall vision for the area is one of a vibrant mixed-use quarter, integrating the City Centre, Grainger Town and Quayside. Elswick Wharf Area Accessibility Study – Symonds 2001 2.4.13 The Elswick Wharf area is defined by Newcastle Business Park in the west, Scotswood Road in the north, River Tyne in south and Orchard Street in the east. 2.4.14 The Symonds study was concerned with accessibility for all modes of transports to 2.4.15 the study area. It considers the transportation requirements of two land use scenarios differentiated according to the extent of redevelopment assumed to take place within the area. 2.4.15 It presents a strategy for pedestrians, cycles and buses, which identifies the future of the rail branch line serving Forth Sidings as the determining factor in the preferred pedestrian and cycle strategy. 2.4.16 The report assumes that Redheugh Bridgehead junction improvements will take the form of a “hamburger junction” and will be completed by 2008 – however it also states that it will be operating at or around its practical capacity by the year 2008.
3. Physical Appraisal
existing and potential desire lines and other impacts on/opportunities for pedestrian movement;
existing transport problems and opportunities for new services.
3. Physical Appraisal
3.0.1 We undertook a physical appraisal of the study area, covering land use, urban design/ townscape, traffic and transportation. The appraisal focused on: • • • • • • • • urban context and identification of ‘character areas’; key gateways and vistas; topography; existing and potential movement networks; key internal/external views and landmarks; aspect and orientation; tall buildings assessment; existing patterns of movement and traffic flows;
3.0.2 The detailed physical appraisal is included in the Background Report and a brief summary is set out below.
3.1 Existing Character Areas
3.1.1 There is little to no cohesion in the study area as its character varies considerably in terms of development form, urban grain, land uses and topography. As part of the initial appraisal of the area, five existing character areas were identified (See Figure 3.1): The Gorge 3.1.2 Characterised by the steep rising, south facing side of the gorge that has been terraced to accommodate developments with large footprints, the area benefits from stunning views across the gorge and the area south of the river. The gorge front is highly visible from the main approaches to the City by car, train and metro – it may be considered the ‘window’ or ‘face’ of the city centre.
3.1.3 Within this character area, three subcharacter areas may be identified. The eastern side of the area, south of central station, benefits from a smaller-scale urban grain and contains the greatest amount of historically significant buildings mainly associated with railway heritage and others which contribute to established sheer frontages and a sense of enclosure. The central area is dominated by the railway bridge, Redheugh Bridge and the Arena. The gorge at this point is at its steepest and is characterised by dense tree cover and massive sandstone retaining walls. The street diving south to join Skinnerburn Road incorporates these features to give a feeling of a sunken lane. The western part feels remote from the city centre and currently dominated by low-density industrial uses. The trees and steep slope of the gorge present a green edge ot the area, masking some of the development in views from the south. 3.1.4 The existing railway branch line makes a strong physical and visual barrier / boundary between this area and the Scotswood Road Corridor. Strategic Road Corridors 3.1.5 This includes Scotswood Road, St James Boulevard and Redheugh Road, which form some of Newcastle City’s main road arteries and access into the city centre. They
Figure 3.1 Existing Character Areas also form strong barriers to ease pedestrian movements between the City Centre and the riverside, residential quarters, Newcastle College and Newcastle Business Park to the south and west. 3.1.6 These corridors have vital roles as gateways into the city centre, as well as well as having major effects on facilitating movement between established and future quarters and communities.
1. The George 2. Strategic Raod Corridors 3. George Street Triangle 4 Discovery Museum 5. The Life Centre
George Street Triangle 3.1.7 The triangle of land between St James Boulevard and Newcastle College is characterised by small-scale light-industrial uses and a poor quality of streetscape. The existing street pattern defines a number of medium sized blocks. This includes a triangular block that accommodates the changing orientation of adjacent roads. 3.1.8 The area is strategically located between the City centre and Newcastle College and the residential communities to the west. Movements through the area, as well as its interaction with St James’ Boulevard and Newcastle College should be carefully considered. The existing street pattern provides a strong basis for the redevelopment of the area. Discovery Museum 3.1.9 The Museum, a very attractive building and visual focal point of the St James Corridor, is currently isolated from its surroundings – both visually and functionally. Future development should serve to raise its profile and integrate it with its immediate surroundings, as well as the wider City Centre. Central Station West / International Centre for Life (ICFL) 3.1.10 This includes the area between Central Station, Westmorland Road, St James’
Boulevard and the railway branch line. The area has two main determinants of its character: The fine grain, small scale mixed uses of the eastern end of Scotswood Road and of Marlborough Crescent and the larger scale grain and investing of the ICFL and the sensitive rehabilitation of the shop fronts on Neville Street and the Market managers building point to the success of integrating conservation with good modern development. The mix of uses within this area make it the most vital and animated in the study area. 3.1.11 The strategic location of this area within the wider study area means it is crucial that the future development form and design of the public realm and infrastructure facilitates linkages between the waterfront development/ George Street area and the railway station/City Centre. Following the addition of Gallowgate and the Brewery to our study area, a further two character areas were identified: The Brewery 3.1.12 A working brewery, earmarked for imminent closure and relocation, it is a large single land use (in a single ownership) that sits between the residential areas of the Inner West End and St. James’ Boulevard, with the City Centre beyond. The site slopes down considerably from west to east. The routes that pass the site are unattractive, unwelcoming, poorly overlooked and have limited activity, and therefore give the impression of a ‘back door’ entrance to the City
Centre. The scale of the older frontages on Wellington Street, contrasting with the small scale of the listed former chapel are useful cites for redevelopment. Similarly the cupola on a corner block acts as a necessary landmark. On its southern edge there agree opportunities to connect with the side streets and historic frontages on Westgate Road. 3.1.13 The redevelopment of this site will provide an unrivalled opportunity to regenerates and reconnect the City in this location. Gallowgate 3.1.14 Gallowgale is one of the oldest streets in the masterplan area and the traditional enclosed character of the street remains at its eastern end, however this enclosure has been lost to the west through cleared sites predominantly given over to carparking and buildings in need of improvement, the area slopes down from Strawberry Lane, and the imposing St. James’ Park Stadium, to Gallowgate itself. The former brewery bottling plant (bounded to the west by Wellington Street) consisting of vacant industrial buildings, is severed from the majority of the site by the busy Barrack Road. The majority of the area presents an extremely poor road frontage. 3.1.15 With a Metro station within the site, and the benefit of a location right on the edge of the City Centre and the desirable Leazes Conservation Area, the area has significant development potential.
3.2 Accessibility and Connectivity
3.2.1 The study area is bisected by a large number of major roads as well as some railway lines, raising major issues with regard to accessibility and connectivity, both within the study area, and between the study area and it surrounding environment. In particular: • • St James Boulevard. – Not currently functioning fully as a ‘boulevard’. Scotswood Road. – Pedestrian unfriendly route and barrier to north/south movement (in the process of being made into a dual-carriageway, which will compound the problem). • Redheugh Bridgehead junction. – Barrier to pedestrian movement and poorly functioning traffic node and ‘gateway’ (‘Hamburger’ junction proposal will compound the problem). • Forth Sidings rail branch line. – Isolates the majority of the southern part of the study area.
Redheugh Bridge, railway line and Metro line bridges. – Restrict east/west movement on the southern edge of the site.
3.2.2 In general the study area needs to connect into and build upon the opportunities provided by the surrounding areas [See overall strategy plan - Figure 3.2]
3.3 Traffic and Transport Site Appraisal
3.3.1 The A189 St James Boulevard/Barrack Road, and Scotswood Road (currently being upgraded) together provide high quality highway corridors, all to dual-carriageway standard within the study area, whose principal function is however to carry traffic through the study area rather than to provide access into and from it. The A186 Westgate Road is a lower standard radial route through the study area, but is an important public transport corridor. 3.3.2 While traffic flows are high on these principal routes (St James Boulevard carries over 3,000 vehicles an hour during peak periods) traffic congestion within the area is localised at present, with the main routes observed to operate reasonably well under normal conditions.
3.3.3 Away from these corridors the standard of the local transport infrastructure is generally poor, reflecting its “historic” nature and, to the south of the study area it is compounded by the topographical characteristics. The area is characterised by a lack of direct and good quality access routes that penetrate the area, with many physical constraints including narrow road widths in places, narrow or no footways and a number of junctions with constrained geometry and poor visibility. 3.3.4 Whilst St James’ Boulevard in particular has high quality pedestrian crossing and cycle facilities adjacent to major junctions, elsewhere the pedestrian environment is generally poor and little specific provision is made for cyclists. 3.3.5 Bus routes through the area reflect physical constraints imposed by the highway network and also existing demand patterns and are broadly concentrated on the major routes of Scotswood Road, Westgate Road and Barrack Road. These services provide links to the city centre and areas to the north and west.
A number of public off-street car parks are located within the study area providing a total of nearly 1,000 spaces of which 635 are at the Centre for Life. Parking is also provided for the Telewest Arena. Controlled on-street parking is available at several locations including at Blandford Square, Forth Street and Westgate Road. In addition a number of city centre car parks located outside the study area are within easy walking distance. The existing surface level car parks at Gallowgate and Strawberry Place (184 spaces) are subject of redevelopment proposals while new parking is currently being developed adjacent to the study area at Stowell Street (250 spaces) and East St James Boulevard (355 spaces). The UDP includes an allocation for a 400 space multi-storey car park at Gallowgate.
Figure 3.2: Strategic Framework
4. Market Appraisal
The City currently has approximately 6,000 outstanding residential
4.1.3 Retail • The study area is outside the City’s strong retail core and beyond the secondary retail pitches (with only a small element in the Gallowgate area). • As the study area develops there will be a need for local shops and services to serve the new residents and office workers. 4.1.4 Leisure • The city has a thriving leisure sector, particularly in relation to nightlife and associated weekend breaks. • A shortage of hotel beds has led to the development of a number of new hotels, together with outstanding planning consents (time is needed to assess their impact). • • There is a new generation of casinos in and around the study area Marlborough Crescent has become an established and important leisure area.
planning consents yet to be implemented. These are already in
4.1.1 A market overview of the study area was undertaken. The main outcomes of this overview in relation to the study area are summarised in the Background Report. Set out below are some of the key points and issues identified. 4.1.2 Residential • Demand for City Centre apartments has been underpinned by investors seeking buy-to-let opportunities, but demand from owner-occupiers and tenants is still reported to be strong. • Newcastle Great Park will in the coming years, dominate the supply of new build housing stock in the city. • There is an over supply of social rented housing in the city.
excess of the City’s housing allocation over the next 10 years as identified in the Regional Spatial Strategy. • Prospects for capital growth in the City’s residential market remain good, with demand from both occupiers and investors still strong. • Concerns within both the public and private sector about the rapid growth in the number of City Centre apartments. • Developers and occupiers have in the past been attracted to other more vibrant areas of the city (Quayside, Grainger Town etc.) – this will change as the nature of this area changes. • Housing requirements to create
sustainable communities will need to be developed in conjunction with Housing Market Renewal Pathfinder.
The Gallowgate area is becoming an increasingly important leisure area due to the proximity of St. James Park, The Gate and Stowell Street, Newcastle’s China Town, new bars on St. Andrew’s Street and the Leazes Park Road restaurants.
The city’s inability to meet office occupier demand has resulted in the promotion of out-of-town business parks. Although limited in number they are successful.
The public sector market is strong with potential for further growth from Government decentralisation.
4.4.5 Office • There is a shortage of new floor space in the City Centre which, combined with strong demand, has led to an imbalance in the market (particularly in relation to Grade A accommodation). • Future growth is being directed towards St James’ Boulevard (the Citygate and St. James’ Gate developments at either end have both been successful). • Gallowgate is being recognised as an increasingly important office location by city professionals and has recently attracted a number of high profile occupiers.
Private sector demand is steady (significant financial and legal sectors).
• There is a limited industrial market within this area due to the potential of realising higher land values for other uses. • The industrial and trade counter operations at the western end of the study area around Brunel and Penn Streets are lively and vibrant. • Many of the industrial uses currently based within the area located there for historical reasons.
• The need for clarity – particularly in relation to residential development. • Relocation of rail operations from Pottery Lane is achievable – at a cost.
locations (e.g. Blandford Square) • A significant amount of the property directly to the south of central station is in the ownership of Silverlink. Their masterplanners Waring and Netts are currently working up proposals for an office-driven, mixed-use development. • Removal of the operational gasholders could potentially be achieved – at a cost. • Newcastle College is currently engaged in a £50 million expansion programme that will result in the provision of a number of new facilities - RMJM are preparing a masterplan for the campus. • There are a significant number of development proposals (at varying stages of preparation) for sites in the Gallowgate area. Developers are keen for clarity to enable these proposals to progress or be amended. • Scottish & Newcastle have embarked on the first stage of a masterplanning exercise for the Brewery site with a view to starting marketing in early 2005.
5.0.1 In order to produce a strategy for the area that is realistic and deliverable it was crucial to get an understanding of the aspirations held for the area by those that have a vital role to play in its future. These key stakeholders included landowners, developers, existing businesses, relevant organisations and agencies, together with the existing and surrounding communities. 5.0.2 Details of the discussions, meetings and consultations held with these stakeholders and their outcomes are summarised in the Background Report. Set out below is a brief summary of some of the key points raised.
• The International Centre for Life has developed proposals to create a new Science Village within the study area, focused on the expansion of its life science/stem cell research and commercialisation activities • OneNorthEast and the City Council have been undertaking a range of feasibility studies on the concept of a Regional Conference Centre capable of accommodating in the region of 1,500 delegates. The study area is the preferred location. • Llewelyn Davies is developing proposals for a mixed-use scheme on behalf of Vico who are assembling land in the area around George Street. • The Council has a limited amount of landownership in the area, although it is more significant in some specific
5.1 Land Owners and Developers
5.1.1 We held meetings with key landowners, developers and other businesses operating in the area to establish their aspirations for the future. Key points coming out of those discussions included:
5.2 Organisations and Agencies
5.2.1 We held meetings with key stakeholders from a range of relevant organisations and agencies with an interest in the area (NCC, NDC, HMR, Stakeholder Groups.) in order build upon the information we obtained from the background documents and other material to give us a better understanding of the issues and aspirations that exist in the area. Some of the key suggestions and outcomes from those meetings are summarised below under a series of headings: 5.2.2 Connections/Linkages • Create better connections through Newcastle College and with its surrounding areas. • The future of the railway line running east/west through the area is fundamental to the future of the study area. • There is a need for better vehicular, public transport and in particular pedestrian links going in and out of the area, as well as a need for better links within the study area itself.
There is a need to address the damaging effect of roads that create barriers, which restrict the growth of the City.
There needs to be greater housing choice, which is lacking in existing residential areas - in particular the lack of mid-market housing (there is plenty at both extremes).
Central Station is a major asset that needs to be fully exploited.
5.2.4 Land use
• • Uses should look to complement
successful adjoining uses.
West of St. James’s Boulevard, particularly along Westmorland and Westgate Roads, offers the potential to provide some retail to serve the West End.
5.2.3 Relationship with neighbouring residential areas
• Study area should not develop in isolation to the adjoining residential area. • Future development should seek to blur those boundaries. There was concern about the impact of the dualling proposals. • • Retail provision serving the adjoining residential areas needs to be improved Education, training and skills development in the West End needs to better equip existing residents in order to enable them to benefit from the enormous opportunities that the redevelopment of this area will provide.
5.2.5 Public Realm/Environment
• It is important to retain the unique nature and character of the Marlborough Crescent area • The area to the front of the Discovery Museum provides the opportunity to create a public square that will enhance its setting. • There is a need to recognise the importance of heritage to the area.
The area needs to relate better to its waterfront location. The appropriate scale, height and massing of buildings in various locations across the study area are important issues in terms of its future development.
5.3.2 A number of broad issues were raised during the event: • there is already strong developer interest in the area which should be worked with rather than stifled or constrained there was a broad consensus that given the sheer scale of the study area, breaking the area into a series of sub areas and managing the links between them was an appropriate approach • transport and the public realm (and public sector’s role) were identified as critical to realising the aspirations of the • • •
fund and operate. There is a need for ‘move on’ accommodation. ICL and the University have the potential to be a major growth pole through commercialisation of research and provision of further incubator accommodation. Concerns about potential displacement pushed of the trade and service uses in the Scotswood Road area, as many provide an essential service to the city – where else could they be relocated to? The market for office space in the area is distinctive; should not compete directly with out of centre business parks.
The area should have more parks, open space and greenery.
5.3 Discovery Quarter Visioning Workshops
5.3.1 A Visioning Workshop was held on 2nd April 2004 with a range of public, private and community interests in the study area. The aims of the workshop were to: • • • review our interim findings listen to the issues, concerns and aspirations of stakeholders identify the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats facing the study area; • identify the key components of a future regeneration strategy.
area 5.3.3 The second part of the event addressed the specific themes of: Office/Business Accommodation 5.3.4 Key issues raised included: • The study area is a logical and suitable location to meet the demand for large floorplate office accommodation. • If incubators are provided to encourage the creation of new businesses, this is most likely to fall to the public sector to • •
5.3.5 Key issues raised included:
Need for consistency and clarity from the City Council about the form of development that is acceptable. Need clarity on the HMR Interim
Concern about the lack of facilities to attract families
Concern about large amounts of one particular type of housing aimed at one particular market being proposed by developers.
5.4 Gallowgate & Brewery Framework Presentation
5.4.1 Held on 9th July 2004 at Newcastle United Football Club’s St. James’ Park Stadium, its purpose was to present our ideas and emerging plans for the urban design and transportation framework for Gallowgate and the Brewery site, in order to keep people informed of progress and to give them the opportunity to comment. 5.4.2 Following the presentation there was the opportunity for those attending to ask questions or to put their views, either in the wider forum or subsequently to us on a one-to one basis. 5.4.3 The comments received were predominantly made confidentially on a one-to one basis, and subsequently efforts were made to give them full consideration and, where appropriate, to incorporate them into the revised framework.
come along a see a presentation of the Draft Final Plan. There was also an opportunity for them to make comments as well as raise questions and issues, or to discuss matters informally with members of our consultant team. It was attended by 47 people 5.5.2 Some of the key comments raised included: • Will the production of the final report enable developers to progress the planning applications they wish to submit – does it provide a framework for determining applications? • What is the situation with residential proposals outside the key sub-areas (sub-areas 3, 4 & 5) identified for HMR related residential development? • Are the tall buildings proposed the right height and in the right location – what is the rationale? • Does the area/City need tall buildings at all?
The housing market already exists in the study area.
5.3.6 Key issues raised included:
The area’s evening economy ‘offer’ should be different from that available in the rest of Newcastle and appeal to older age groups and or family experience. Both planning and licensing should be used as mechanisms to deliver this.
Could changes in the gaming laws be a significant opportunity for the area? Marketing will be a key issue for the Discovery Quarter as it develops ensuring a new experience/brand is communicated to prospective users (different from ‘Party Toon’).
5.5 Draft Final Report Presentation
5.5.1 Held on 24th November 2004 at the Assembly Rooms, Newcastle, this was a morning long event that invited key stakeholders with an interest in the Discovery Quarter, Gallowgate and Brewery areas to
5.6 Community Consultations
5.6.1 Two staffed public exhibitions were held on the 12th and 13th of October 2004. The purpose of these exhibitions was to show and explain to the community of the Inner West End of Newcastle our draft strategy and proposals for a large area of Newcastle that separates their community from the City Centre, and record their comments on what they thought about the proposals: • • • Did they agree with what is being proposed? Did they have other suggestions? Which proposals did they think are most important – what were their priorities? • What do you think of the proposed locations? 5.6.2 Two separate exhibitions were held upon the advice of Newcastle New Deal for Communities in order to reach communities both in the north and in the south of the Inner West End. 5.6.3 We also met with the Summerhill Society on 13th September 2004, representing residents living in the adjacent Summerhill area.
5.6.4 Presentations were also made on 1st July and 13th September 2004 to the Newcastle City Centre Panel 5.6.5 A note, summarising our findings and proposals, was circulated at the NDC Board Meeting of 14th September 2004 and subsequently a presentation was made to the 12th October 2004 Board Meeting. 5.6.6 Some of the key points raised from all these discussions with the community were: • A desire to see larger family housing (both private and social), particularly on the Brewery site. • • A need for better choice of housing for the elderly and the disabled. Currently a lack of suitable social housing in many parts of the area (overcrowding) - some of the Brewery site may provide an opportunity to supply a greater range of social housing for the wider area. More good quality and safe public spaces are needed as well as an improved public realm. • Area needs to cater for and support smaller businesses (SMEs) as well as the larger offices.
• • • • •
The brewery is a valuable part of the heritage of the area. A wish for more attractive, pleasant and safe routes linking into town. Support for retail facilities on Westmorland Road. St. James’ Boulevard should be more pedestrian friendly. A wish to see leisure facilities that cater better for all ages, particularly in the evening.
A lot of concern about the current widening of Scotswood Road, with support for the idea of it becoming more attractive and safe for pedestrians.
Improve the environment and shopping facilities on Westgate Road. Concern that the new development will only benefit the wealthy and the developers, pushing the problems further out - linking the prosperity of the city to the poorer areas is of crucial importance.
Some concern about the level of car parking new development would generate.
Section 106 agreements should be used where possible to ensure that the local communities will benefit as much
as possible from the new development. Important that there is further and continuing consultation and engagement with communities in the future as ideas, proposals and schemes are developed for the area.
As this report is taken forward and as ideas, proposals and schemes are worked up for particular areas or specific sites, it will be vital to engage those affected by, or with an interest in, their development to ensure that there is, where possible, as much support and ownership of that development as possible, together with agreement, clarity and understanding about the way forward. In particular it is important that the involvement in this area of the existing residents of the adjoining neighbourhoods of the Inner West End continues to develop and grow, as the future of this area is fundamental to their futures.
5.7 Future Consultation
As the final point above correctly points out there will be a need for consultation and engagement of all the key stakeholders and the wider community to continue. This report is only a small part of an ongoing and developing process.
6. Transport Analysis
considers that it needs to be progressed with some urgency to allow the full assessment of the development proposals and of the transport strategy necessary to accommodate them. 6.0.3 In the absence of such a model and with the agreement of City Council officers CBP has used the TRANSYT software to assess the impact of the Discovery Quarter/Brewery/ Gallowgate masterplans on the junctions along St James Boulevard, Westgate Road and Gallowgate/Barrack Road that lie within the study area. Full assumptions for the traffic model created are given in the background report, and are summarised below:
6. Transport Analysis
6.0.1 A detailed analysis was undertaken upon the strategies road network of the impact upon the strategic road network of land use and development scenarios emerging as part of the study’s proposals. This has tested the implications of the land use and development scenarios that were developed as a result of the urban design studies, stakeholder consultations and option development, and has identified the strategic and local transport interventions that will be required to support the masterplan. 6.0.2 It became apparent early in this process that the impacts of the scale of development that the area might accommodate could extend well beyond the study area and that to fully address these impacts a traffic model covering the city centre and strategic routes outside the city centre was required. The development of such a model is already intended by the City Council but CBP
identified the critical points on the existing network. These are on Gallowgate, particularly at the junctions with Strawberry Place and Percy Street, and on St James Boulevard at Westmorland Road and Wellington Street. It is anticipated that no significant increase in traffic levels on this part of the network will be contemplated without measures to address the problems identified in the study. 6.1.3 The results of the initial modelling exercise with development traffic added indicated that there would be serious capacity problems on the network modelled, including on the Inner Distributor Route (IDR) at Percy Street. Clearly, this will be unacceptable and measures will need to be brought into place that effectively constrain traffic levels on Gallowgate/Percy Street, and encourages traffic to use alternative routes via Barrack Road or the A167(M) inner ring road instead. 6.1.4 In addition measures (such as the road closures previously proposed by the Council) to prevent rat-running in the Leazes/Queen Victoria Road area will be necessary to prevent the displacement of through traffic into this area. 6.1.5 These model results showed clearly that car trip generation would have to be restrained to a significantly lower level than that implied by the Elswick Wharf Study trip rates if the development aspirations for study area were to be accommodated without a major impact on the operation of the road network. Further
6.1 TRANSYT Modelling
6.1.1 Base flow data for the TRANSYT model were derived using existing traffic count data. No future growth in base flows was allowed for, other than from committed developments (as agreed with the Council). To derive development-generated traffic, in the first instance trip rates were adopted from the Elswick Wharf Area Accessibility Study, again as agreed with the Council. The development trip distribution was derived using 2001 census journey-to-work data for employment-related trips and a population-based gravity model for leisure-related trips. 6.1.2 The modelling of the base situation (i.e. the existing network with existing traffic flows)
modelling was then carried out using trip rates for B1 derived from 2001 Census data for mode shares, which shows that 37% of work trips to the City Centre are made by car drivers. This analysis produced trip rates significantly lower than in the Symonds report. Also, trip rates for leisure and hotel uses were reduced by the same amount, whilst trip rates for the conference centre were re-calculated using predicted visitor/delegate numbers data from One Northeast’s ‘Regional Assessment for a Purpose Built Conference and Exhibition Centre’. 6.1.6 Clearly the achievement of lower car trip generations will be dependant on the delivery of significantly improved accessibility to the area by other modes. The improvement in non-car based accessibility to “city centre” levels must be the aspiration for all parts of the area, particularly for locations where high trip generating land uses are proposed. 6.1.7 The highway network modelled included interventions that arose from the urban design studies. These were: • The redesign of the improved Redheugh Bridge/Scotswood Road junction as a signalised crossroads instead of the “hamburger” layout previously proposed
Upgrading Wellington Street as a through route between St James Boulevard and Barrack Road to relieve the northern end of St James Boulevard of traffic (and assist in encouraging traffic away from the IDR)
Barrack Road/Wellington Street - allmovement junction created (Figure 6.3)
St James’ Boulevard/Gallowgate – roundabout converted to signalised junction (Figure 6.4)
Redesign of the Gallowgate/St James Boulevard junction to provide a more pedestrian friendly layout and release land for public realm improvements
6.1.10 In addition to these the City Council is understood to be developing a design for traffic signal control at the Gallowgate/St Andrews Street junction. No design for this junction was available, however. 6.1.11 With these works in place the road network within the study area would accommodate the traffic generated but without any margin of reserve capacity. The operation of the Westmorland Road/St James Boulevard junction depends critically on traffic routeing in response to the restrictions on Gallowgate/ Percy Street discussed above, an issue that can only be fully analysed with a city centre traffic model. Should the majority of traffic use Westmorland Street as part of an alternative route via the A167(M), then further improvements to the capacity of this junction will be required.
6.1.8 The modelling identified a number of additional highway improvements that would be necessary in order to achieve a network without significant capacity problems. 6.1.9 The highway interventions thus proposed are listed below and discussed further in the area frameworks (Chapter 8): • Redheugh Bridge/Scotswood Road junction – all-movement signalised junction created (Figure 6.1) • St James’ Boulevard/Wellington Street – junction widening (Figure 6.2)
Figure 6.1: Reviced Junction Layout: Redheugh Bridge / Scotswood Road
Figure 6.2: Reviced Junction Layout: St. James Boulevard and Wellington Street
Figure 6.3 Reviced Junction Layout: Wellington Street and Barrack Road
Figure 6.4 Adviced Junction Layout: St. James Boulevard and Gallowgate / Barrack Road
Phasing of interventions 6.1.12 The phasing of transport works will depend to a very large extent on the timing of development. Indeed some of these works will clearly be related to the development of specific sites. 6.1.13 Given the considerable uncertainties concerning the timing of development and indeed the detailed content of specific developments, it is not possible at this stage to meaningfully analyse the phasing of transport interventions in any detail. However it is possible to comment in general terms on the linkages between interventions and the development of the areas. Further, the area frameworks in Chapter 8 of this report identify some priorities for interventions. 6.1.14 The transport interventions identified have a range of objectives relating to accessibility, urban design and network capacity. The considerations that will determine their timing will be correspondingly diverse. Some general comments on phasing are provided below. •
Gallowgate/St James Boulevard junction conversion to traffic signals – this scheme could be considered for early implementation to assist in addressing problems relating to the interaction of this junction with the adjacent junction at Strawberry Place. It will need to be implemented prior to the implementation of the major urban space proposed for within the site to the north of Gallowgate. However if it is to be implemented before the Wellington Street upgrading (see below) then further analyses will be need to confirm that the proposed layout can •
the Brewery sites west of St James Boulevard. The works will be required to provide an alternative traffic route removing traffic from the north end of St James Boulevard and Gallowgate, to achieve road capacity and urban design objectives Scotswood Road/St James
Boulevard junction alterations – as noted elsewhere in the report this scheme will be required to support development in the Waterfront area of the Discovery Quarter. The timing of its implementation will therefore be related to the rate at which development occurs in this area.
accommodate prevailing traffic levels. • Wellington Street upgrade and associated works at the junctions with St James Boulevard and Barrack Road – the timing of these interventions will be determined by the timing of significant development on
6.1.15 The analysis of the road network suggests that the development aspirations for the study area areas can be accommodated subject to: • Interventions to ensure that reliance on the car for journeys to the area is
Public transport enhancements – it will be important that these are in place from the early stages in the development of the areas.
minimised – these will include improvements in the area’s
accessibility by public transport and improved local linkages to encourage walking and cycling. • Parking provision that is compatible with the above and is related to the capacity of the road network. • Traffic management to discourage increased use of Percy Street and to prevent rat-running in the Leazes/ Queen Victoria Road area • A city centre-wide and even city-wide transport strategy/plan that can accommodate the wider impacts of the development of the area – in particular in providing acceptable alternative routes to the inner distributor road for traffic to/from the area and in constraining growth in through traffic movements on St James Boulevard. • Road network improvements within the study area.
6.1.16 The above requires a shift in emphasis in the function of St James Boulevard from a through traffic route towards the provision of access to the area through which it passes. Some aspirations identified in the study, in particular the provision of more direct pedestrian crossings at junctions, will depend on achieving an even more significant “downgrading” of the traffic functions of the route. 6.1.17 It has not been feasible to assess the wider transport issues related to the development of the area that is identified above. These do however need to be addressed once suitable modelling tools are available. 6.1.18 Details of the phasing of interventions to enhance transport services and infrastructure will depend to a large extent on the timescales within which development proposals for specific sites come forward.
The capacity of the road network to accommodate additional traffic
generation Policy issues 6.2.2 It is the City Council’s policy that public parking in the city centre should be capped at 10,000 spaces. Analyses undertaken by the City Council and provided for this study indicate that in December 2002 there were 10,435 public parking spaces in the city centre. Of these some 958 were in car parks that were the subject of approved development proposals expected to be implemented by 2005. A further 750 spaces in the Greenmarket MSCP could be lost if development proposals affecting that site were progressed. 6.2.3 Committed new parking provision totalled 1,035 spaces at Stowell Street (250), East St James Boulevard (355) and Stockbridge (430). The UDP provision for a MSCP at Gallowgate was assumed to provide a further 400 spaces. 6.2.4 If parking supply within/adjacent to the masterplan areas is considered, then some 430 spaces are expected to be lost to development with some 600 new spaces being provided at Stowell Street and East St James Boulevard. 6.2.5 Thus, if considered solely in terms of the UDP policy of maintaining 10,000 public
6.2.1 Proposals for parking provision in the study area must take account of: • • The City Council’s policies The trip demand generation potential of the masterplans for these areas, and
parking spaces in the city centre, and assuming the Greenmarket MSCP is retained, there would be no requirement for additional public parking to be provided within the Gallowgate/Discovery Quarter masterplan areas. If the Greenmarket MSCP is removed then a requirement arises for the provision of at least 240 new spaces, potentially at the Gallowgate location identified in the UDP. The further provision of significant new parking would breach the policy of capping the overall provision at 10,000. 6.2.6 However, with the potential creation of some 12,000 new jobs as well as major new leisure opportunities and hotels, the scale of development provided for by the masterplans will represent a substantial expansion of city centre activity and an extension of the city centre westwards in areas not currently well served by car parking. It is necessary therefore to consider a significant provision of new parking in these areas to maintain their accessibility. How much parking should be provided is considered below. 6.2.7 Thus it should be appropriate to review the UDP policy of capping city centre parking at 10,000 spaces. That review will take into account the potential for further modal shift for travel to the city centre including the development of Park and Ride. 6.2.8 It may be that, particularly with the development of Park and Ride, the existing “cap” can be retained, increased but not
substantially. In this case a redistribution of parking to reflect the changes in the distribution of activity will be achieved by developing new parking serving the west of the city centre while allowing existing car parks elsewhere to be redeveloped without replacement. 6.2.9 Most of the new parking provision should be in public car parks rather than as on-site dedicated parking. This, together with the juxtaposition of mixed uses that exhibit different parking demand profiles, will maximise the efficient use of spaces and reduce the overall requirement for parking. It would not seem appropriate to apply more restrictive maximum standards for on-site parking than applies in the rest of the city centre. However there is a case for reviewing those standards as part of the LDF process, to ensure that future parking provision reflects changes in transport since the current standards were adopted and are appropriate over the lifetime of the LDF. Proposals for parking 6.2.10 Table 6.1 provides a broad indication of employment (B1)-related parking demand. This is compared to the allowed parking provision, based on the Council’s maximum parking standards. Demand is based on the current car driver mode share for city centre journeys-to-work of 37%. However, since the masterplans are likely to be implemented over a considerable time horizon, possibly up to 10 15 years, it is appropriate to make provision for parking not based on current transport behaviour and mode shares but on how it may
be expected that modal shares will change over the masterplan period. Hence Table 6.1 also presents a demand estimate based on the lower car driver mode share of 30%. Table 6.1: Supply and demand for B1 parking
Provision based on parking standard Gallowgate/Brewery Discovery Quarter 809 805 Demand 37% mode share Demand 30% mode share
6.2.11 In addition to employment uses the masterplans anticipate substantial elements of leisure uses and major hotel development. The latter is focused on the Gallowgate area with the potential provision of up to 1,600 beds. Given that peak parking requirements for both leisure and hotel uses occur during the evening and at weekends the scope for these uses to share parking space with employmentrelated demand should be achievable. The current maximum parking standard for hotels of 1 space per bedroom is inappropriate for city centre locations and should be reviewed downwards to avoid over provision of parking in the area. 6.2.12 Making a nominal allowance of 300 additional spaces each for leisure and hotel-
related demand (the latter in the Gallowgate area only) and allowing for future changes in mode shares for trips to the city centre, a provision of around 2,600 parking spaces in the Gallowgate/Brewery area, and around 2,300 spaces in the Discovery Quarter area would seem appropriate. Of these up to 1,000 in each area may be provided as dedicated parking (although this should be kept to a minimum) with the balance provided in new public car parks. 6.2.13 In the Gallowgate area some 400 of the new public parking could be provided north of Gallowgate to replace existing parking that would be lost due to redevelopment and to cater for additional activity in that area. The remaining 1,200 spaces should be provided on the Brewery site accessed directly or indirectly from the upgraded Wellington Street. 6.2.14 Within the Discovery Quarter area parking space should be provided such that it is accessible from the major highway corridors, and could be accessed from the upgraded/extended Pottery Lane. 6.2.15 Feasibility studies for the Conference centre have indicated a requirement for 1,000 parking spaces to serve the facility. However, the full assumptions behind this figure are unclear and further detailed analysis will be required to establish the parking requirements for the centre.
6.2.16 The Council’s maximum residential parking standards allow one space per dwelling for housing for sale. It would not be desirable to reduce this further as a lack of adequate parking could discourage people from moving into the area. However opportunities for forms of development that make lower provisions for parking should be examined, in particular where adjacent public parking is available.
7. Development Strategy
It has strong market interest- often in accord with City Council’s aspirations It has good strategic connections / poor local linkages •
already there. However, we need a strategy because: investors and developers require certainty– there is a need to establish clear land use/urban design principles • there will be a need for land assembly and remediation to achieve strategic objectives and timely development • managing a mix of uses/activities is critical to avoid fragmented development and to achieve urban design aspirations • public investment will be required in physical infrastructure and public realm; the strategy will provide basis to unlock this • but this is not an exercise in creating a market; the strategy must focus on how the public sector can add value 7.1.2 It is concluded that the study area is too big to be a single coherent entity. It needs to be broken down into manageable areas, which are connected to each other and to their surrounding areas.
• It is not one coherent area, but a collection of identifiable sub-areasare •
7. Development Strategy
7.0.1 In this section we have set out a Development Strategy which outlines a number of key roles that the study area can play in the future of the city. We will appraise each of those elements of the strategy (are they desirable, achievable, compatible?) and then identify strategic areas of intervention that can help to deliver them.
It is clear that the market interest to bring forward development in the area is
7.1 Key Conclusions
7.1.1 The development strategy for the area is based upon the following: • • It is a key transition zone linking City Centre to Inner West It is the largest remaining opportunity for growth of the City Centre
7.2 The Strategic Development Concept
7.2.1 There are a number of important roles that the study area can potentially play in the future of the city of Newcastle. It can become several or all of the following: • • • • • • • Newcastle’s next major office quarter Centre for the knowledge economy Place for City living Anchor tourism destination Distinctive part of the City’s evening economy Multi-modal transport hub Link between the City Centre and West End. 7.2.2 The following is an analysis of each of these potential roles. Newcastle’s next major office quarter Given the size of the study area and its location directly west of the City Centre, it offers the scope to accommodate a broad range of office development. In particular, the scale of many of the sites within the study area offers the potential to provide a significant amount of large floorplate office development in close proximity to the City Centre in order to meet the significant latent demand that is felt to exist.
7.2.3 Several good potential locations stand out: • Gallowgate – Right on the edge of the City Centre, with existing pressure for office development, a Metro Station and the success of Citygate this is an ideal location for large-scale development aimed at the corporate market. • St. James’ Boulevard – Prominent and accessible, the northern end should build upon the success of Citygate providing further large properties for the corporate market, with a mixture of larger and smaller buildings, aimed at the bioscience, professional, creative markets, being developed towards the southern end. • South of Central Station – A combination of proximity to Central Station, the success of Central Square and developer land assembly/acquisition underway means that this area should be able to provide larger units to meet the corporate market’s needs.
Newcastle Business Park Extension – Building upon the success of the adjacent Business Park this area could provide self-contained owner/occupier units. These should take on a slightly more ‘urban’ (as opposed to ‘out-of town’) form than the existing units.
7.2.4 Centre for the knowledge economy The Life Knowledge Park, based at the International Centre for Life and a joint venture between the NHS, Newcastle University and ICL was recently granted a licence by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority to create stem cells from unfertilised human eggs. This is the first licence to be granted in the UK and has the potential to contribute to the development of new treatments for a range of diseases including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. The newly launched ‘science cities’ fund, developed through the Northern Way, may also afford funding opportunities. The International Centre for Life has developed ambitious proposals for the expansion of its activities, centred on the creation of a biotechnology village to the south of the existing site. The proposals encompass the provision of at least 45,000 sq.m of new accommodation for research and development activity and include provision of hotel
accommodation for visiting researchers. ICFL recently launched its proposals for the ‘Newcastle Technopolis’ which aims to attract major pharmaceutical companies to the City. This, combined with the close proximity of Newcastle University and Newcastle College to the study area, means that the area has significant potential to deliver as a centre for the knowledge economy. 7.2.5 Small and medium-sized enterprises The Discovery Quarter is already home to a diverse mix of small and medium-sized enterprises as an edge of city centre location where land values to date have been comparitavely low. There are particular concentrations of small businesses to the south of Scottswood Road/east of the Newcastle business park and in the George Street triangle. 7.2.6 Some of these firms provide employment for local residents and it will be vital to ensure that the strategy for the Discovery Quarter sustains and develops these opportunities. Whilst in some instances relocation will be required to facilitate development, the City Council should work closely with the affected businesses and developers to establish suitable relocation arrangements. 7.2.7 Elsewhere in the UK there is evidence that small businesses can play a catalytic role in the regeneration process. Newcastle’s own
Pink Lane, Sheffield’s Cultural Industries Quarter, Liverpool’s Duke Street/Bold Street area and Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter all provide important exemplars. Affordable workspace/studio space can be created, often through the conversion and refurbishment of existing premises. This can attract and retain SME’s which in turn play an important role in sustaining the vibrancy of a neighbourhood, create employment and support local services. 7.2.8 There are particular conversion opportunities within the historic fabric of the Stephenson Quarter and through the revitalisation of the railway arches along pottery lane. These are explored in the area frameworks which follow. Place for City living 7.2.9 Much of the area could become a place for city living to ensure that it generates life and activity around the clock and at weekends. However this should not just mean more large blocks of 1 and 2 bed flats. There are concerns that to a large extent investors are keeping this market going and that the centre of the city is storing up a potential housing market problem which could emerge as a significant issue were there to be a downturn in the housing market. There needs to be a greater variety of housing in the centre of the city and this area provides an ideal opportunity to create it, supplying a greater variety of housing type to a broader market.
7.2.9 Larger housing units, houses and flats, should be encouraged to bring about a greater balance and mix in the market and in the population. They can offer greater flexibility and adaptability (in particular where they meet Lifetime Homes standards). Very importantly larger housing appeals to a number of markets, not just nuclear families. In particular young adults who choose to share with several others (rather than live alone in small flats) are a key potential market, often with high levels of disposable income that can help to sustain local services and facilities. Existing larger housing in the adjacent areas of Summerhill and the Leazes has stood the test of time and continues to be popular. In terms of new build, the Procter and Gamble site in Gosforth, recently developed by Crosby contains townhouses and large semis that have worked well. There are also examples from other cities, like Manchester where at the edge of the city centre in Hulme a significant amount of the new larger housing (in particular 3-storey 4 bed terraces with gardens) has been very successfully developed and sold to a broad market. 7.2.10 Whilst it is envisaged that the majority of this housing would be private housing for sale there should be an element of social and key worker housing considered. Pepper-potting of this housing will enable to blend it in with some of the adjoining areas of social housing. 7.2.11 Given the size and location of the study
area, parts of it can potentially have significant positive impacts on the housing markets in many of the adjoining neighbourhoods. Parts of the area that directly adjoin existing neighbourhoods in the Inner West in particular have a vital role to play in helping to deliver Housing Market Renewal objectives in Newcastle’s West End. Appropriate residential development should be concentrated in these areas. 7.2.12 In order to become truly a place for city living it will be important to plan for and encourage the development of the associated community facilities and infrastructure (shops, schools, services, open space, etc.) that help to create a neighbourhood - particularly if looking to attract/retain families. Building upon, reinforcing and supporting existing successful family housing markets (e.g. Summerhill) will be important in attracting and retaining families within the area. Anchor tourism destination 7.2.13 Located next to the major tourism and visitor attractions of the City Centre, Quayside (Newcastle and Gateshead) and St. James’ Park, as well as being next to Central Station, the study area is ideally situated to meet demand for hotels and other associated (particularly leisure) uses. However it is also potentially a significant destination in its own right. 7.2.14 Currently within the area the
International Centre For Life, the Discovery Museum and some smaller scale leisure uses attract visitors to the area. The Centre for Life has exhibits focusing on the origins of life, DNA and the human body. The Centre plays an important role in raising public awareness of science and science education and in working with schools to develop innovative learning programmes. Discovery Museum is the North East’s largest free museum with a focus on Tyneside’s past, present and future; it houses some of the finest collections of technical and scientific collections outside London and has important collections relating to maritime history, social history, regimental militaria and costume. The Museum was attended by just under 200,000 visitors in 2003 and recently completed a £12.25 million refurbishment programme. 7.2.15 The potential to introduce further leisure development into the area, including some large-scale leisure development (e.g. casino), together with a raising of the area’s profile and enhancement of its environment, could significantly boost the its role as a visitor/tourist destination. The single biggest boost to that role would be the locating of a Regional Conference and Convention Centre within the area, bringing large numbers visitors on a very regular basis. Distinctive part of the City’s evening economy 7.2.16 The study area has an interesting mix
of traditional pubs and new bars/venues without establishing a particularly strong identity as a distinctive evening economy destination. The area does not have the same profile as the City’s Bigg Market or Quayside – it does not yet offer the right ‘product’ to achieve this distinction. 7.2.17 The study area offers the potential to provide an evening economy that serves a broader range of the city’s residents and visitors – in particular the older adults and families who feel excluded by the drinking culture prevalent in many other parts of the City Centre. The fact that significant parts of the study area are reasonably centrally located (and some are in close proximity to Central Station) and yet separated from established ‘drinking circuits’, may help to encourage other evening uses such as café-bars, family restaurants and casinos. 7.2.18 There are number of particular areas that are established or have the potential to become something distinctive: • Marlborough Crescent – an established and distinctive evening economy popular with the gay community. • Gallowgate - increasingly important due to the proximity of The Gate and Stowell Street, Newcastle’s China Town, new bars on St. Andrew’s Street and the
more upmarket Leazes Park Road restaurants. • Forth Banks – with bars and restaurants towards the bottom end it can further exploit its link to Quayside as well as its proximity to Central Station. Multi-modal transport hub 7.2.19 A number of significant elements of transport infrastructure are located within (or directly adjacent to) the study area: • Major Road Network - Scotswood Road/St. James’ Boulevard/Barrack Road/Redheugh Bridge (and to a lesser extent Westgate Road and Westmorland Road) • • • • Central Station St. James’ Metro Coach Station Project Orpheus (potentially)
transport to the advantage of both the study area and the wider city.
7.2.21 In particular:
New public car parking can be provided where it is accessible and
environmentally acceptable. Link between the City Centre and West End 7.2.22 The study area can become an important transitional zone between the regional capital, with its wealth of economic and social activity, and some of the country’s most economically and socially deprived areas. 7.2.23 By creating new east-west links and connections, and by upgrading and enhancing the existing links, this area can ‘knit’ the West End back into the City Centre making it a fully integrated part of the city, rather than an isolated group of housing estates where nobody goes except those that live there. In the south-western part of the study area creating and enhancing the north-south links will perform a similar function, helping to integrate the West End with its riverside. 7.2.24 Appropriate land use and development form can also aid this integration, helping to blur the boundaries and ensure that market confidence flows into areas of low demand. 7.2.25 Well designed new development, public realm and environmental improvements can all help to change the nature of the area from a ‘back door’ to a ‘front door’ to the City Centre.
Improving access to Central Station with the provision of a new entrance from the south and enhanced local pedestrian linkages can open up new possibilities for interchange
Improving the accessibility through the area for bus services can assist in encouraging the extension of services through the area and on to the West End and beyond
The successor to Project Orpheus can (should?) integrate the areas west of the city centre with the regional Metro public transport system
Distributor public transport services (potentially based on personal rapid transit technology) can link the area to public transport hubs in the city centre
7.2.20 The study area has the potential to build upon the high degree of strategic connection it enjoys to the wider city, region and beyond, by better integrating local
making existing and new development accessible to city-wide and region-wide public transport networks
Figure 7.1 The Sub Areas of the Masterplan
7.3.1 In some locations these different roles we have identified above may or may not be appropriate and in some they will work together and be complementary and mutually beneficial, while in others they are likely to compete or conflict. This reinforces the need to break down the area into more distinctive sub-areas each with different roles and character. The Masterplan area has been divided into six distinctive sub areas. It is considered that this subdivision allows for the differences: • • • • • In relationship to the centre, to routes and to the river In existing and proposed roles and land uses In existing proposed built form and Indicating phasing and location of specific interventions In proposing these sub areas it is not the intention that they be regarded in isolation from each other. This is repeated in the overlapping of the areas in the map (Figure. 7,1) 7.3.2 To a large extent the market will drive the final land use of the area, which will significantly define its character. However initial logical patterns are beginning to emerge which
we feel the City could help to guide. 7.3.3 The Strategy identifies a role for each sub-area, a framework to guide its future, and highlights key interventions necessary to make things happen together with a Delivery and Implementation Plan. The six areas and their roles are (See Figure 7.1): Stephenson 7.3.4 Office area with element of leisure, linking to Quayside, and building upon both its location next to station and its heritage Gateway 7.3.5 Gateway to the study area, West End and the City Centre. Waterfront 7.3.6 A residential-led mixed-use area, linking existing residential in the north down to the river. Discovery 7.3.7 Multifunctional area providing a focus for the wider area and accommodating office and College expansion. Brewery 7.3.8 A transitional area, blurring the
boundaries between City Centre and Inner West through proposing a gradation of development scale, massing and uses and uses whilst increasing east west link. Gallowgate 7.3.9 An area for office and leisure expansion from the City Centre. 7.3.10 In order to enable the sub-areas to realise these roles, and to achieve the overall aspirations for the area, we have identified a range of interventions that the public sector should look to make in order to best add value to the regeneration of the area. We have broken these interventions down into: Strategic Interventions 7.3.11 Interventions that cover, or significantly impact upon, more than one of the sub-areas identified above, these are set out below. Area-Specific Interventions 7.3.12 More detailed, these are set out for each of the sub- areas in the Area Frameworks in Section 8.
7.4 Strategic Interventions
7.4.1 The key Strategic Interventions identified under a series of headings are as follows:
a) Policy and Implementation Planning Policy and Guidance Work is underway to replace the current Unitary Development Plan with a Local Development Framework (LDF) together with Area Action Plans (AAPs). However the timescales on the preparation of the LDF (and hence the associated AAPs) is quite lengthy – the Inquiry in Public is not currently programmed to take place until around September 2006. There is therefore the need to adopt Interim Planning Guidance as a matter of urgency to guide development in the study area. 7.4.2 Pressure for new development exists in significant parts of the study area and is likely to grow. Planning guidance should therefore be used to help encourage, control and guide the nature, type and form of that development. In terms of that guidance, the following are some general study area-wide principles that should be pursued. 7.4.3 An appropriate mix of uses within sub areas and within individual schemes should be encouraged to avoid monoculture. Uses should look to build upon and blend in with those successfully established uses in the adjoining areas. Developers should be guided and encouraged to provide animated ground floors – i.e. active/leisure/retail/commercial uses – but also ensuring diversity through providing a mix of smaller and larger units in different areas. However there also needs to
be caution exercised in the provision of such space, in order to ensure that it is sustainable and to ensure that it does not become randomly scattered throughout the area, potentially becoming boarded up eyesores if there is an oversupply. 7.4.4 Therefore where possible these units for active units should be located on key routes and at focal points (retail in particular should, for the most part, be limited to a number of specific locations – Westmorland Road and Westgate Road – see Sub-Area Frameworks), and should be designed as flexible spaces capable of easy alteration to a number of possible uses (planning policy should also recognise this issue, and respond flexibly). More detailed and area-specific guidance upon land-use is given in the Area Frameworks, in the following section. 7.4.5 Development should create and reinforce street frontages/ on-street activity, through building layout and design as well as the location of appropriate uses 7.4.6 The creation and reinforcement of gateways and landmarks is important to give the area a sense of identity and to recognise its location as a ‘front entrance’ into the City (rather than its current ‘back door’ appearance). Currently, for example, the Arena although successful in terms of its use, has a building itself that is poor – it is in a highly prominent location but creates a very poor impression.
7.4.7 The heritage legacy of parts of the area (in particular the Stephenson sub-area) provide the opportunity to produce development with a distinct quality and grain that brings important buildings and places back into use, exploiting their value to the economic and social benefit of the area and the wider City. 7.4.8 The Area Frameworks set out some further principles in relation to the urban form that will help to guide the scale and massing of new development within the area. Transport policy 7.4.9 The transport analyses in Chapter 6 showed that the realisation of the aspirations for the development of the Gallowgate/Brewery and Discovery Quarter areas must be accompanied by actions on wider transport policies that will allow the movement demands generated to be accommodated sustainably. In particular policies will need to address the delivery of substantially enhanced accessibility to the area by public transport modes (existing or new) and the potential changing function of St James Boulevard in the wider transport network. 7.4.10 The scale of expansion of the city centre represented by the development of these areas will necessitate a review of the current policy for parking in the city centre, in particular the 10,000 “cap” on public spaces. In arriving at an appropriate parking provision for the city centre that review will however
need to consider the impact of transport policy measures to reduce car trips and the scope for the further development of Park and Ride. 7.4.11 Parking standards for developments in the city centre should be reviewed as part of the LDF process. Policies should discourage the provision of dedicated on-site parking in favour of public provision where additional parking is required. Housing Policy 7.4.12 LDF Interim Policy Statement on Housing and its accompanying Interim Planning Guidance on the Release of Land for Housing can potentially be a useful tool in guiding and controlling the amount type and form of residential development that takes place in the study area. We believe that residential development should be acceptable in each of the sub-areas as long as it has a benefit to the wider regeneration of the city and in particular the adjoining areas west of the City Centre, where much of the Housing Market Renewal work will be concentrated. 7.4.13 Sub-Areas 3, 4 & 5 (Waterfront, Discovery and Brewery) have a vital role to play in helping to achieve HMR objectives. Their benefit will be in drawing the residential market out of the City Centre into the areas that are currently suffering market problems. The western part of the Discovery Quarter lies within the HMR Pathfinder boundary. When looked at in combination with Elswick, we
believe the study area can make a significant contribution to housing market renewal in the West End. Rather than leaving a gap that reinforces the separation between ‘City Centre Living’ and ‘Inner City Housing Estates’ we feel that the boundaries should be blurred. 7.4.14 Acceptability should be dependant upon the implementation (either directly as part of the development or through planning contributions) of north-south links, linking to and across Scotswood Road, and improvement of east west links along Scotswood Road, Westmorland Road and through the College and the Brewery site. It is important that new residential development should integrate physically with existing potentially sustainable housing.
7.2.15 Support via this policy and guidance should also be dependant upon developers creating a mix/balance of house/flat types and tenure, in order to prevent the creation of large monolithic ‘estates’ of limited housing types, which may be storing up potential housing market problems for the future (the proposals for large amounts of studio/1 bed/2 bed flats is a concern). Development of solely apartment blocks will lead to these areas merely becoming extensions of the City Centre. Larger units and urban (as opposed to suburban) houses as well as flats should be encouraged. 7.2.16 In seeking to diversify the mix to provide family housing, the Discovery Quarter would be competing not only with greenfield sites – most notably Newcastle Great Park – but also with aspirations for housing market renewal in the West End. The current ‘pipeline supply’ of land with residential consent is well in excess of the level of take-up proposed in Regional Planning Guidance. Licensing Policy 7.2.17 The Licensing Act 2003 provides local authorities with a range of powers to achieve their objectives in controlling nightclubs, other drinking establishments, restaurants and takeaways, and will come into operation in 2005. For example, the operating schedules that will form part of the new licenses may require live music to be played on a regular
basis - this has been shown to alleviate tension and ultimately aggression and violent crime in popular nightspots. Alongside the planning system, licenses can also restrict floorspace (to prevent vertical drinking) and licensees can also be required to dedicate a proportion of their floorspace for dining. (b) Improved Local Linkages 7.2.18 Within the study area, and the Discovery Quarter in particular, there is a need for better vehicular, public transport and (in particular) pedestrian links in and out of the area, as well as a need for better links within the study area. Movement through the area and to tie the area in better with its surroundings has to be created and improved if the area is to develop to its full potential. 7.2.19 Works to create new highway infrastructure, or to enhance the existing, should seek to better integrate pedestrians and vehicles. The aim should be to make pedestrians feel less isolated and safer, overlooked and surrounded by activity. 7.2.20 The area needs to be better connected with its waterfront. The Waterfront, Gateway and Stephenson sub-areas all have a vital role to play in this. Where possible clear, direct and well-overlooked north-south routes through these areas should be created, encouraging movement to and from the River Tyne and connecting the area better in to this major asset. A route is needed to link from Pottery
Lane through the existing railway branch line and the current site of Abbey Storage on into the City Centre. This is vital to open up the Gateway sub-area south of the railway line and connect it much better into Central Station and the City Centre [See Figure 7.2].
development of the whole southern part of the study area. The barrier of the line needs to be breached in order to increase the accessibility and permeability of the area. The redevelopment of the line would enable this to be achieved. The structure could then be removed or, alternatively, additional routes could be ’punched’ through the existing structure which could become ‘green route’ through the area (from the Station). Alternatively the rest of the line could be incorporated with adjoining development sites. This would remove a major impediment to north-south links.
7.2.21 This may be achievable through an existing railway arch (or arches), or may require the removal of a section of the railway. Ideally a number of routes should link the sites south of the railway branch line through the existing commercial/light industrial area on Railway Street/Penn Street out to Scotswood Road. Attractive, overlooked and safe links should be created right through the area and running down the embankment to the River. 7.2.22 The importance of the future of the railway line, in relation to opening up access to the area, is fundamental to the future
Figure 7.2: Conceptual sketch showing the location of a major venue such as a convention centre at the south facing “entrance” to the city centre
7.2.23 In terms of improving east-west links, the extension of Pottery Lane east across Forth Banks into the area south of Central Station, and west through to the Business Park, creating a clear, direct route through the area, is vital to tie all the sites south of the railway line together [Estimated cost: £1,750,000 – £2,225,000*]. Improving movement along and across St. James’s Boulevard will also be important. This should be a mixture of junction and crossing improvements [Estimated cost: £50,000 £100,000*], together with enhancing the Boulevard as a safe, attractive, well-used, welloverlooked route with an active street frontage. 7.2.24 With all of these links it should be the aim to create routes that are as clear, straight and legible as possible in order that they provide direct and safe routes for pedestrians (rather than winding and convoluted), which they are able to easily understand and navigate. They should also, where possible, be able accommodate motor vehicles, to aid access and servicing to developments and to ensure that they are active and safe routes. 7.2.25 A number of schemes that are currently proposed to improve vehicular access to the area do not help local linkages, and will even make pedestrian and cycle access to the study area worse. This includes the major schemes of dualling Scotswood Road and the introduction of the ‘hamburger junction’ at the Redheugh Bridgehead, which threaten the future integration of the study area with the city
centre and the rest of the city. Ways to address these problems are set out under the Transport Infrastructure heading and within the Waterfront Area Framework below. 7.2.26 Additional access to Central Station would help to better exploit the location of Central Station to the area’s advantage. There is potentially significant cost attached to the creation of a new southern access. However it may also be possible, and cheaper, to create an access at the western end, to the south of the ICFL. 7.2.27 As mentioned earlier, the area must also link in better with the adjoining residential areas if the wider regeneration benefits of its redevelopment area to be maximised. There are a number of particular locations where this needs to take place: • • • Scotswood Road; Newcastle College; and The Brewery site.
defined, well used and well overlooked, with clear ownership, management and function. These spaces will enhance the image of the area and help to create a place where people want to live, work, visit and invest. 7.2.29 Public realm improvements can help to very clearly display a commitment by the public sector to an improved future for an area, generating confidence and investment (both indigenous and inward). Concentrating these improvements along prominent routes or at key junctions can have the greatest impact – i.e. Scotswood Road (all the way to the ICFL), an extended Pottery Lane, Westmorland Road, Wellington Street, Gallowgate, Barrack Road and Strawberry Lane [Estimated cost: £75,000 - £100,000 per 100m length of road*]. 7.2.30 Three major public squares at St. James’ Metro; Blandford Square; and at the Arena, with a smaller more local square in the Stephenson area, will help to enhance the setting of important adjacent buildings and to create a focus for their surrounding areas.
(c) Public Realm and Open Space) 7.2.28 Improvements to the appearance and function of the environment within the study area will help to guide and attract investment and create the places and spaces that help define the area’s character. This may be achieved through the creation of parks, open spaces and urban squares or through upgrading the streetscape (hard and soft landscaping etc.). New spaces should be well
public square, down Redheugh Bridge Road and along the wooded embankment to the riverside. These spaces should look to integrate across Skinnerburn Road with the riverside walkway as much as possible. Developing these spaces and the surrounding land uses to ensure maximum overlooking and generation of activity will be critical to their success – ensuring that they are well used and not misused. 7.2.31 There are two main locations where new parks should be provided. A local park as part of the redevelopment of the Brewery site will give it an identity, help it to function as a neighbourhood, add value to the surrounding properties and make it a more attractive place to live, work and invest in. High quality public realm can have a positive impact on market renewal. Park spaces should also be created next to the riverside on the Tyne Gorge embankments. These steep south-facing slopes are very prominent as one enter the city from across the river, and the opportunity exists to encourage and formalise their use as important pieces of open space that can help to link the area down to the existing riverside walkway. 7.2.32 The first of these spaces could be at the bottom end of Dunn Street, linking up to Scotswood Road and the Inner West, via an environmentally enhanced ‘green route’ along Dunn Street. The second could be a space linking the Arena, the potential adjacent largescale leisure development and the proposed (d) Transport Infrastructure 7.2.33 This report has already identified that
significant improvements in provision for local
movement will be required to raise the
accessibility of the area for all modes and to
promote its integration with adjacent areas to
the north and west as well as for the City
Centre and Central Station to the east.
7.2.34 The need to promote improved local
linkages has already been highlighted above.
While this will to an extent be delivered through
increasing the permeability of the area by the
provision of routes for pedestrians and cyclists
as part of the design of individual development
sites, it will also entail reducing the severance
impact of existing/planned highway
infrastructure. Key strategic areas of potential
action include the following:
7.2.35 Redesign of the proposed Redheugh
Bridgehead “hamburger junction”.
A revised design for this junction is proposed.
This provides for a signalised crossroads. It is
intended to provide a more pedestrian friendly and results in more developable plots of land around the junction than the currently proposed ‘hamburger’ junction (it is also expected that it would cost slightly less to construct). [See Figure 7.3] 7.2.36 Make Scotswood Road a Boulevard Infrastructure works combined with environmental improvements and frontage development to make Scotswood Road a boulevard rather than an over-engineered dual carriageway. Infrastructure works would include the provision of additional vehicle and pedestrian accesses from and across Scotswood Road to enhance the accessibility of adjacent development sites and increase north south movement. Further details are provided in Waterfront Area Framework in Section 8. 7.2.37 The realignment of Skinnerburn Road To better manage its traffic function and enhance the integration of the development areas and waterfront. 7.2.38 Upgrade the role of Wellington Street To produce a high quality, strategic route that relieves pressure on the Barrack Road/ Gallowgate junction (and enabling it to be made more pedestrian friendly) and that significantly improves access to the northern half of the study area.
Figure 7.3: Conceptual Sketch Showing major buildings enclosing the junction space at the Redhegh Bridge Head.
7.2.39 Enhanced public transport New east-west links between Dunn Street and Redheugh Bridge Road, north of Skinnerburn Road, together with possible improvements to Pottery Lane will achieve this by providing the scope to improve penetration by bus services, enhancing bus links from the City Centre and from the Quayside. The exact alignment and design of these links will need to be reviewed against the emerging development proposals for the area. 7.2.40 The Orpheus Project proposals for new LRT lines included a route from St James to the West End. This would have enhanced the role of St James station in the accessibility of the area and included a station at Blandford Square in conjunction with the Westmorland Road option for the LRT route. The Orpheus proposals are now being revisited due to funding difficulties and lower-cost non-LRT schemes are likely to come forward. The revised Project Orpheus should take full account of the development potential of the Gallowgate/Discovery Quarter areas and seek to integrate these areas into the city’s/region’s wider public transport networks. 7.2.41 In the shorter term however, there is potential to extend the Quayside Transit system to link the southern part of the Discovery Quarter to the public transport network and to develop similar bus-based concepts to provide high-frequency branded bus services linking the development areas to public transport hubs in the city centres, such
as Central Station, Monument Metro station and the Eldon Square and Haymarket bus stations. Indicative routes for such Services are shown on Figure 7.4 & 7.5. 7.2.42 Personal Rapid Transport There is a more radical but entirely feasible option for linking the Discovery Quarter and Gallowgate development areas with the wider city which would be in keeping with its profile as a forward-looking area of redevelopment and regeneration. This would be a personal rapid transport system such as ULTRA. Such a system could be designed into the redevelopment of the key sites within the study area and, given its space and infrastructure requirements, integrated with the existing street network. It could link to the Newcastle Central Station, Newcastle College, Newcastle United football ground, and the main shopping area as well as providing interchange with the Metro, major bus hubs and with any future LRT. 7.2.43 A system such as ULTRA could form the centrepiece of a sustainable masterplan for the regeneration of the area, where reliance on and the impact of the private car is “designed out”. A conceptual design for an ULTRA network, which could be introduced in stages, is shown in Figure 7.6. 7.2.44 The concept of ULTRA for the Discovery Quarter/Gallowgate areas should be subject to further feasibility and design analyses.
(e) Site Acquisition/Assembly 7.2.45 By the Council and their partners actively pursuing land acquisition and assembly, either on their own or in partnership with private landowners and developers, they will help to unlock development in certain parts of the area. The acquisition strategy should be a mixture of negotiation and CPO. In many cases the best approach to a site, or group of sites, will be a combination of both, using an impending CPO to focus the landowners’ attention on the negotiations. 7.2.46 The Area Frameworks detail specific locations within each of the Sub-Areas where the public sector should consider getting involved in land acquisition and assembly. The main strategic group of landholdings where there is a compelling case for major public sector led acquisition is the combined area of Abbey Storage, the branch railway line and the Forth Sidings, which if acquired would substantially improve the ability to fully access and develop Sub-Areas 2 & 3. With regard to Housing Market Renewal, early land assembly would help bring forward housing sites within Sub-Areas 3, 4 & 5. 7.2.47 Acquisition and assembly will also be necessary in order to deliver specific types of development that the market will not deliver alone (e.g. a Conference/Convention Centre, SME accommodation and managed workspace.)
Figure 7.4 Potential Discovery Quarter Transit Network
Figure 7.5 Potential Gallowgate/Brewery Transit Network
* The estimated costs provided for interventions in this section are for indicative purposes only. Full details of the basis of these estimates and any exclusions, are included in the Discovery Quarter Cost Report prepared by Turner & Townsend – Appendix 1.
Figure 7.6 Potential ULtra Network
8. Area Frameworks
A summary and analysis of the physical appraisal in relation to that specific area;
An identification and analysis of key drivers for development (existing and
8. Area Frameworks
8.0.1 Having identified in the previous section the strategic aims and the roles for each of the six Sub-Areas (Stephenson, Gateway, Waterfront, Discovery, Brewery and Gallowgate), together with a set of overall strategic interventions, we have in this section set out area frameworks for each of these Sub-Areas, defining specifically how these roles and aims can be achieved in each SubArea. For each of the six Sub-Areas, the frameworks include the following 2 stages: Stage 1. 8.0.2 Analyses of the information we have gathered for each area on an area-by-area basis: • A brief summary and analysis of
relevant context and background;
potential); • An analysis of the stakeholder aspirations within the area (Pull together and appraise the conflicting or complementary aspirations and visions we have identified – the matrix); Stage 2. 8.0.3 A proposed way forward for each area in terms of: • • • Land use and development; Scale form and grain of development; Infrastructure, environmental and other interventions. 8.0.4 We have also set out to demonstrate the viability of the proposals (including potential for three of the areas to house the Conference Centre) and how this guidance can help to meet market and stakeholder aspirations. 8.0.5 For Gallowgate and the Brewery Sub-
Areas we have, within their Area Frameworks, produced more detailed Urban Design and Transport Frameworks, containing more specific sets of proposals. This is because the Gallowgate area is at a more advanced stage in terms of developer involvement and proposals than much of the rest of the study area. Therefore there is a need for more detailed rather than strategic guidance. The Brewery site has also been included because of its close interrelationship with the Gallowgate sub-area and its single ownership that may enable it to be brought forward for development in the short term.
8.1 Sub-Area 1. Stephenson
Stage 1. Area Analysis Context and Background 8.1.1 This is the area south of Central Station, bounded by the King Edward bridge and railway to the west, the town wall to the east and reaching south to the edge of the Tyne gorge. The area was built up around Stephenson’s original workshops. 8.1.2 A substantial part of this area (east of Forth Banks), for many years in the ownership of St. Mary the Virgin Trust, has recently been sold to the developer Silverlink.
Figure 8.1 Area Framework : Stephenson
Physical Appraisal 8.1.3 Unlike much of the study area, the grain and scale of this area is tighter and more vertical. There is also a higher proportion of existing industrial/railway vernacular buildings. There seem to be a number of buildings of some architectural value that are potentially at risk, especially the Art Nouveau building on the Forth Banks. 8.1.4 Forth Street has a poor frontage on its southern side, consisting of vacant plots and deep set backs to 1960’s - 70’s office buildings. The Street will require a built form which achieves continuity of street frontage. 8.1.5 The area currently suffers from poor connections with the surrounding areas and the rest of the city. The main access at present to the rest of the study area is under a very dark long bridge with a narrow footpath. It is also not clear to the pedestrian what is on the far side. There is a similarly forbidding entrance to the area from the north, under the railway banks and platforms of the station. 8.1.6 A potential east west link also exists along the alignment of Pottery Lane. This connection would be of increased importance if a Conference/Convention Centre were to be built in the adjoining area.
Key Drivers 8.1.7 The key drivers (existing and potential) for development in this area will be: • Central Station (and potential new southern entrance) – the area is directly adjacent to the region’s busiest train station, which also incorporates a Metro station, giving it goodlinks to the wider city, the local and national rail network and to Newcastle Airport. • Quayside – the proximity of the Quayside with its thriving leisure and evening economy. • Heritage – the distinct character and identity of the area can help to make it a desirable place to work, visit, stay or live. • Riverside location – good potential access to the riverside and views across the Gorge can provide an attractive and desirable setting for new development.
Developer in place – with a significant amount of the land in the ownership of one developer
(Silverlink), who are currently developing their proposals, the potential to package and develop sites is good. Key Developer and Landowner Aspirations 8.1.8 Current developer aspirations for the sites within this area include an office-led mixed use scheme and a predominantly office/ residential scheme. See sites A and G in the matrix attached in Appendix 2. Stage 2. Proposed Way Forward Future Role 8.1.9 The area can have a key role as a location for the expansion of office development within the city, building upon its location and in particular its proximity to Central Station. It can also become the link from the main part of the Discovery Quarter area through to the Quayside.
Land use and Development Principles 8.0.15 As with all of the sub-areas within the study area the Stephenson area should contain a mixture of land uses in order to ensure that it becomes a vibrant part of the city which generates activity at different times of the day. Within this mixture of uses the predominant use should be for offices. The area is in close proximity to the existing office market north of Central Station and provides a natural extension of that market around the station, which it also directly adjoins (a situation that would be even more beneficial were the station to have a direct entrance created on its southern side). This is likely to mainly be an extension of the type of space provided at the recent Central Square development, and aimed at the ‘corporate’ office market. 8.0.16 There is some justification for a limited amount of residential development in the area in order to bring a range of activity into the area at different times of the day and week, however, it is concluded that it should be limited. This development is likely to be of the ‘city centre apartment block’ type of which there is already a significant supply within Newcastle City Centre. Therefore, housing should be a minor part of the overall development in this area. 8.1.10 The area should have a significant element of leisure, probably concentrated along Forth Banks, Forth Street and Pottery Lane, connecting it in with sub-areas 2 and 4
to create a new area of leisure uses aimed at older adults and families. It could draw people from Central Station, the ICFL, the Arena, the existing and proposed hotels and potentially a Conference Centre located in sub-area 2, as well as up from the Quayside and out from the City Centre. There is already the beginning of a leisure frontage to Forth Banks. 8.1.11 Overall the area should have a finer urban grain than it currently has with more public routes running through the area – making it more open, accessible and permeable. New development should relate to these routes with frontages (particularly on the ground floors) that provide animation, activity and overlooking to the street. This is particularly important on the key routes of Forth Banks, Forth Street, an extended Pottery Lane and the north/south route. 8.1.12 The area is currently quite isolated due to existing major land uses and infrastructure. It requires improved physical links with Central Station, the Quayside, the River, Pottery Lane and ICFL. Whilst Forth Banks forms a good quality highway with wide footways, the highway network does however lack direct east-west traffic routes and good quality pedestrian facilities and exhibits physical constraints in places, compounded by the steep gradient of the area. Key Actions/Interventions 8.1.13 The area currently sits very much at
the back of Central Station. A new access/ bridge link to the station on its southern side would considerably enhance the accessibility of this area, giving it direct access to and from the region’s busiest train station. This has been considered in the past and is currently being considered again. There may be the possibility of extending the existing platform bridge link within the station to project south and link to the Stephenson area via the strikingly designed former water tower [Estimated cost: £300,00 - £750,000*]. An additional station frontage would considerably increase activity in this area. It could also integrate with improved access to a potential extended Quayside Transit system in this location, serving the southern part of the wider study area. 8.1.14 The extension of Pottery Lane across Forth Banks and west to east all the way through the area (and potentially through the Town Wall arch at the eastern end) to provide a clear and direct route linking it in with adjacent neighbourhoods, will help to open the area up and connect and integrate it better with its surroundings. This should be a pedestrian link at the least and where possible should also accommodate vehicular movement. 8.1.15 Upgrading pedestrian routes to Westgate Road, by enhancing the existing tunnels/arches under the station in order to create more attractive routes that feel and are safer, will help to connect the area better into the City Centre. Similarly upgrading the
Figure 8.2 Area Framework : Gateway
archway under the railway at the top of Forth Banks will provide a safer and more attractive gateway into the area from the area around the International Centre for Life [Estimated cost: £45,000 - £60,000*]. These railway arch links have to be improved, as a minimum, by: • • • • • Higher lighting levels Wider pavements Improved signage Soffit treatment. Also, this should be expanded into exploring the possibility of introducing active frontages along the walls of the arches. 8.1.16 There should also be a clearly defined north/south pedestrian link through the area and linking from the station down to the river. This could tie in with a new urban square at its junction with an extended Pottery Lane, or on the plinth over the entrance of the Metro line [Estimated cost: £175,000 - £350,000*].
King Edward Bridge. It is a major and highly visible entrance to the city. Physical Appraisal 8.2.2 This area, largely based around two of the three main entry routes to the city from the south, is literally the gateway to the western half of the city centre and in particular to the Discovery Quarter and the Gallowgate/ Brewery area. Thus this area will create first impressions of the city and reveal long views to St James Park on the horizon. Due to the height of the bridges and the steepness of the Tyne banks, the area will unusually, be seen from above and thus roofscapes will be important.
buildings. The steeply sloping lane to the river has tall stone retaining walls topped by trees, creating a dramatic access to the Tyne: indeed the only direct access within the Gateway area. At present it feels somewhat insecure due to very low usage, and the footways are in need of widening. 8.2.4 The steepest part of the Gorge is in this area and is occupied by mature trees and an overgrown park – a strong natural green asset running virtually into the city centre.
8.2 Sub-Area 2. - Gateway
Stage 1. Area Analysis Context and Background 8.2.1 This sub-area stretches north/south from the Redheugh Bridgehead down to the River Tyne, and takes in the land between and directly either side of the Redheugh Bridge and
8.2.3 The site is traversed by a series of terraced areas, originally mainly railway sidings, forming platforms for buildings in places and opportunities for large floorplate
8.2.5 The two bridges, the New Redheugh road bridge and the King Edward railway bridge, impose a massive scale onto the area as the very tall piers stride across the site carrying bridge decks approximately 35 metres above river level. New development should be of a sufficient scale to relate to these structures. The expansive platform between
the two bridges just above the dense green steep slope on the river frontage would provide the space and the significant setting for a major landmark building. (See figure 7.2) 8.2.6 The majority of this area is fairly isolated from most of the rest of the city to the north, separated mainly by railway infrastructure and associated land uses. 8.2.7 New development should respect the area’s historical legacy, reinforcing and building upon its heritage and historic fabric (including the Town Wall & Workshop). As well as being important to the heritage of the City as a whole, certain buildings and parts of the area’s fabric can help to create a unique and attractive character to the area that can potentially add considerable value, making it a desirable area to work, visit, stay or live. The City Council should, at the earliest opportunity, look to carry out an audit of the key buildings and structures of historical/heritage value, together with their settings in order to clarify what should be fixed and what could be altered or removed in any future redevelopment – this will give clarity to potential developers. Options should also be explored for future uses of buildings of historic and architectural interest. The Stephenson Warehouse on Forth Banks may provide the opportunity for a conservation led SME office development. 8.2.8 Licensing and planning controls to encourage leisure uses aimed at families and older adults should be used.
8.2.9 A significant part of this area is in the ownership of one developer, Silverlink. Therefore by working with Silverlink and agreeing a detailed masterplan for this whole area there may be the opportunity for the City Council to work in partnership with them to deliver development of a type and form that achieves these aims, as well as the associated infrastructure works. 8.2.10 In terms of a partnership the City Council could complement Silverlink’s land ownership and development skills and resources, with the use of statutory powers of land acquisition in order to help assemble certain sites (together with potential investment in elements of the infrastructure). 8.2.11 A potential east west link also exists on the alignment of Pottery Lane. This could be of increased importance if the Conference/ Convention Centre were to be built on the Pottery Lane Site. This Pottery Lane extension would be appropriate as an informal, predominantly pedestrian street, opening to a small square at the heart of the Quarter. It could eventually link to the existing street created between two relatively new office buildings facing the old town wall. * The estimated costs provided for interventions in this section are for indicative purposes only. Full details of the basis of these estimates and any exclusions, are included in the Discovery
Quarter Cost Report prepared by Turner & Townsend – Appendix 1. Key Drivers 8.2.12 The key drivers (existing and potential) for development in this area will be: • Transport hub – major road and rail networks converge at this entrance to the city. • Arena – regularly draws visitors into the area from all over the wider city and region. • Riverside location - good potential access to the riverside and views across the Gorge can provide an attractive and desirable setting for new development, as well as giving it unrivalled prominence to many visitors. • Convention Centre/Large-Scale Leisure development – would draw large numbers of visitors (potentially national and international as well as local) to the area on an almost daily basis.
Improved pedestrian and vehicular access – would make the area very accessible to the City Centre and Central Station.
Key Developer and Landowner Aspirations 8.2.13 There have been proposals in the past for significant levels of residential development in this area. Current developer aspirations for the sites within this area include ‘Newcastle Technopolis’ and a Regional Conference Centre. See sites B and C in the matrix attached in Appendix 2. Stage 2. Proposed Way Forward Future Role 8.2.14 For many of those travelling into the city by road, rail or Metro from the south, or from the west along Scotswood Road, this area plays a significant role in forming their impression of the surrounding area and the wider city. The area can have a key role as a ‘gateway’ to the City, Discovery Quarter and the West End, attracting people into the area and signposting a socially and economically vibrant and contemporary European city. It should look to attract and complement growing activity from the City Centre. Land Use and Development Principles
8.2.15 The area should contain ‘destination’ uses (Conference Centre, large-scale leisure use, regional or sub-regional uses.) that will attract and generate activity and visitors, and drive regeneration in the areas south of the railway line. The associated uses that this kind of development could attract (smaller scale leisure, restaurants, café-bars.) will help to link it in with surrounding areas, and draw in further activity. This type of larger scale development will enable some of the more significant and complex land acquisition/assembly and access issues that exist in this area to be resolved. It also provides the potential to create the unique landmark buildings that this gateway area needs. 8.2.16 In order to address the isolation of this area there is a requirement to provide improved vehicular and pedestrian access with better connections to Central Station, ICFL and the City Centre beyond (across and along the railway), as well as to adjoining areas to the east and west, and down to the river. There is also a need for land acquisition, not only to enable this improved access to take place, but also to assemble sites that will allow large-scale development to take place. Key Actions/Interventions 8.2.17 The relocation of the railway line that runs east west through the area, together with Abbey Storage and the rail operations that sit either side of it, is essential to facilitate
improved links with the City Centre and Central Station. The creation of a north-south pedestrian (and if possible vehicular) link should be considered in order to provide direct access from the ICFL through the railway to the conference centre site [Estimated cost: £100,000 - £175,000*]. A logical step would be to extend Marlborough Crescent/Railway Street south (forming a four arm junction with Forth Street). 8.2.18 The railway line and sidings are currently used for train maintenance purposes. This operation should be assisted to relocate to a more appropriate, less central, location. There may be the potential to re-house Abbey Storage within a redeveloped site. The City Council, partner agencies or a development partner should look to acquire and assemble these pieces of land. 8.2.19 In order to properly access and service this site, as well as to link it better into the adjoining areas to the east and west, there is a need to upgrade and extend Pottery Lane. The upgrading will involve providing a wider carriageway and pavements, improving junctions with Forth Banks and Redheugh Bridge Road and enhancing its appearance. The extensions to the east and west should look to provide as clear and direct routes (preferably vehicular, as well as pedestrian) as possible through adjoining sub-areas 1 and 3, and potentially beyond.
space (public or private), running from the square down along the road to the river, and including the adjacent wooded area of the Gorge embankment. Facelift improvements to the Arena would also contribute to the creation of a focal point and a ‘sense of place’.
Physical Appraisal 8.3.3 This extensive area lying parallel with the river has some characteristics similar to the Gateway area in that the steepest portion at its eastern end is heavily treed and there are some terraced platform areas, one of which is utilised by the Arena. To the west of the area, the sides of the gorge become less steep and less covered by trees. Several vacant, utilitarian buildings front onto Skinnerburn Road, punctuating its green frontage. Two large working gasholders occupy and dominate the middle of the site. 8.3.4 Part of the gorge embankment is occupied by pigeon lofts; brightly painted and in good condition, which help to generate much needed activity in this area. It would be desirable if these were included within the redevelopment scheme; either on the same site or relocated within part of the newly created open space. 8.3.5 Running west of the Central Station through the heart of the site is a working railway line, which is used as an access to the maintenance sidings on Pottery Lane. As a result of this line, north – south connections through the area are very poor, which result in a high degree of isolation. 8.3.6 The Metro Radio Arena building, located at the northeast of this sub-area, is prominent, especially when viewed from Redheugh Bridge. Whilst it is a valuable and reasonably
8.3 Sub-Area 3. Waterfront
Stage 1. Area Analysis Context and Background 8.3.1 This is the sub-area at the south western end of the study area, stretching from north of Scotswood Road down to the River Tyne, and running west from the Arena to Newcastle Business Park. 8.2.20 Planning guidance should be used to encourage the creation of landmark buildings in this area, grouped around the bridges and the bridgehead junction. 8.2.21 An urban square in the vicinity of the Redheugh Bridge Road and Pottery Lane would enhance the setting of the Arena and connect it to any new leisure/conference centre, as well as to the proposed new link through the railway [Estimated cost: £450,000 - £750,000*]. This square could provide a focal point for the area, also tying in with the development of a new and enhanced open 8.3.2 Divided in two by the railway branch line, the southern part of the site is dominated by two large operational gasholders. Combined with the railway line, they both currently form a barrier to movement with the scale of their land take.
Figure 8.3 Area Framework: Waterfront
Figure 8.4 Scotswood Road
Figure 8.5 Gateway: Road junction and proposed new buildings designed to create a “place” at the entry to the city from the south via Redheugh Bridge
well-used venue, it is rather utilitarian in design, materials and setting. The location of a new landmark building immediately to the east of the Arena, could have the effect of improving the setting of the Arena through the creation of a shared entrance plaza, extending over Pottery Lane between the two sites. 8.3.7 Critical to accessing the western end of the study area (and some of the existing residential areas) by both vehicles and pedestrians is the Redheugh Bridgehead Junction. The junction as it exists already acts as a barrier to pedestrian movement and there are justifiable concerns that if it is upgraded (in vehicular movement terms) as proposed to create a ‘hamburger junction’ this will create an even greater barrier. Most of the western boundary abuts the successful Newcastle Business Park. Key Drivers 8.3.8 The key drivers (existing and potential) for development in this area will be: • Pottery Lane extension – the creation of a clear and direct east/west route through the area would open it up, connect it in to surrounding areas and improve site accessibility. • Scotswood Road – currently takes a lot of traffic along the edge of the area, but
could potentially play a far greater role in serving the area. • Newcastle Business Park – a successful office development directly adjacent to the western boundary of the site. • Riverside location – good potential access to the riverside and views across the Gorge can provide an attractive and desirable setting for new development. • Adjacent Gateway area – if the ‘destination uses’ locate in the adjacent Gateway sub-area there is the potential for associated uses and support businesses to locate here. • Redheugh Bridgehead Junction – if redesigned correctly it can encourage pedestrian movements in and out of this area whilst at the same time assisting vehicular access. Key Developer and Landowner Aspirations 8.3.9 Current developer aspirations for the sites within this area include a large residential
scheme and a combined heat and power station scheme. See sites F, J, M, N, O and P in the matrix included in Appendix 2. Stage 2. Proposed Way Forward Future Role 8.3.10 Currently the isolation that this area suffers from is as a result of major land uses and infrastructure such as the Arena, the gasholder site, the railway line and Scotswood Road. In the future this area needs to play a key role in linking the Inner West of the city to the River Tyne (a significant environmental and recreational resource), as well as better connecting its residents to areas of existing and future employment. 8.0.53 Land Use and Development Principles In order to address the land use and infrastructure barriers that exist, this area needs to become a residential-led mixed-use area, linking existing residential areas to the north (the Elswick area) across Scotswood Road down to the waterfront (accessing the significant potential social, employment and environmental benefits of the area). However it is important that it does not become solely a residential estate. 8.3.11 Other uses should be retained or introduced where possible to animate the area and ensure that it remains vibrant and continues to provide employment.
On the southern side Scotswood Road there should be a commercial focus (retaining and building upon some of the existing businesses) with the introduction of a significant element of residential use, while on the northern side it should be predominantly residential, linking in with the existing housing and the proximity to the City Centre. 8.3.12 Leisure should be encouraged at the eastern end, complementing the Arena and proposed Conference Centre, drawing some of that associated activity into the area. Office development should be encouraged in the west enabling the expansion of the existing Business Park, and catering for the selfcontained, owner-occupier end of the office market, with the form and layout of the buildings designed to relate sympathetically to the urban residential nature of the proposed development adjacent to it. 8.3.13 Retention of some of the existing commercial uses within the area (particularly where their location is important in terms of employment or the adjacent City Centre market) should be encouraged - potentially as ground floor uses in future residential developments. Similarly, where a central location is important, the area may also provide the opportunity for relocation of some uses from Stephenson and Discovery areas as part of their redevelopment. 8.3.13 There is still scope for a significant element of residential development, in order to exploit views and the location next to the River.
Running north south such development would help link into the existing adjoining residential areas. Stephenson area 8.3.14 As well as the changes in land use, the area requires enhanced and additional northsouth links across the railway and Scotswood Road, down to the river and into the Inner West End, if it is to connect fully with the wider city. Scotswood Road itself needs to become an enhanced pedestrian-friendly route, all the way into the ICFL, connecting this area better into the City Centre. The part of the area south of the railway line should also connect better with adjoining areas to the east and west. 8.3.15 The Redheugh Bridgehead junction needs to be made more pedestrian friendly. If the area west of the junction can be linked better into the City Centre and made more of an extension of that pedestrian environment, the demand for car journeys in and out of that area should be reduced (reducing pressure on the Bridgehead junction). The other alternative, which is far from ideal, is that pedestrian routes bypass the junction altogether in order to access the areas to the west. 8.3.16 Even with the complex traffic-orientated design of the proposed ‘hamburger junction’ the Elswick Wharf Area Accessibility study indicates that the traffic capacity of the junction will be reached soon after its construction.
This suggests that designing to provide maximum traffic capacity at the expense of pedestrians and cyclists will only be a short term solution and that a solution that balances the needs of traffic with those of other modes, particularly walking and cycling, would prove more sustainable in the longer term. The scheme currently proposed for the Redheugh Bridgehead is in conflict with wider objectives for improved connectivity of the Discovery Quarter and the City Centre and the introduction of the ‘Southern Gateway’, defined in the West Central Development Area Study, as it cannot accommodate direct pedestrian movements. Even with improvements to pedestrian and cycle routes many potential walking trips will be indirect, including to the City centre and from the Cruddas Park residential area and sites north of the railway. 8.0.61 The area to the south of the Arena centred on the axis of Pottery Lane is appropriate to higher density housing with
developable and attractive. The introduction of development and activity to the area directly adjacent to the riverside would help to make what is currently an isolated area safer and better used. 8.3.18 New development in the area should generally introduce a finer grain and enhance permeability, opening it up, easing movement through and making sites more accessible. Key Actions/Interventions dramatic southerly views. The Pottery Lane axis should be envisaged as an urban main street linking a series of publicly accessible spaces of varied character, with neighbourhood related active frontages in places. The stepped southerly setting running along the contours would result in a dramatic effect of a lively skyline sitting above the wooded slopes of the river valley. Imaginative design solutions should be sought, including the opportunities presented by harnessing passive solar gain. 8.3.17 The existing working gasholders dominate a large part of this area. Their continued existence is a problem in terms of creating a desirable residential environment in this general location, and in terms of linking that environment north up to the existing residential areas. The medium term aim should be the removal of these gasholders in order to make the area more accessible, 8.3.19 Pottery Lane should be extended and upgraded from east to west through the area to create a major, clear and direct route running all the way through the area from Redheugh Bridge Road to Water Street (improving vehicular access and bringing activity – including public transport). This is essential if the area is to become fully part of the city and not an isolated housing estate.
8.3.20 The creation of better physical connections from the study area across Scotswood Road into housing beyond is essential if the separation that currently exists is to be tackled. If the economic and social benefit of the regeneration of the study area is to benefit the wider community of the West End this fundamental issue has to be addressed. These connections could be a mixture of pedestrian crossing points, pedestrian routes and vehicular routes. The exact nature and location of these links will need to tie in with the proposals for the areas to the north (linking in with the proposed masterplan) as well as those within the study area, and will need to be subject to consultation with the local communities. The opportunity exists as part of the dualling works to Scotswood Road to make provision for those connections and to implement pedestrian crossings. [See Figure 8.4] 8.3.21 However the approach to Scotswood Road needs to be more comprehensive than just the physical linkages across it. It needs to be recreated to function as a ‘place’. It is very important that Scotswood Road is a pedestrian friendly environment in order to reduce its barrier impact. The dualling proposals will undoubtedly make this harder to achieve. However, accepting that these proposals are currently being implemented, efforts should be made to ensure that the route operates as an attractive pedestrian-friendly boulevard, along the lines of St. James’s Boulevard. Development of an appropriate scale and use
should then be encouraged on both sides of this Boulevard, which fronts onto it and attracts life, movement and activity to its frontage. 8.3.22 New development on the grass strip to north of Road (needs to be subject of extensive consultation with adjacent communities) combined with property facelifts to the south, should be pursued in order to recreate the Road as a neighbourhood focus, rather than a barrier, and draw benefits of redevelopment of this sub-area into the West End. Public realm improvements should also be pursued to make the route look more attractive and less ‘engineered’ [Estimated cost: £275,000 - £350,000*]. This should tie in with the redevelopment/improvement of the Cruddas Park area, encouraging it to enhance its relationship with Scotswood Road. This will work to create a lively attractive route enabling people to walk the relatively short distance from areas like Cruddas Park and Newcastle Business Park into the City Centre, recreating the role of the Scotswood Road as a vital part of its surrounding neighbourhood, and exploiting its opportunities (i.e. potential passing trade) rather than something it turns its back on and gives over purely to commuters and through traffic. These works would also help to enhance the image and profile of the area, generating confidence and investment. 8.3.23 The plan at Figure 8.5 shows an alternative layout for the Bridgehead Junction that would provide appropriate infrastructure
for all non-car transport modes. In addition, the right turn from Scotswood Road into St James’ Boulevard, which has significant demand could be facilitated. From the traffic generation figures provided by Symonds (ref 2001 report) other traffic movements, which are currently banned or prevented by physical means appear to make comparatively little demand. 8.3.24 There is a potential opportunity to provide improved infrastructure for sustainable transport modes and a more attractive landscape, rather than an all movements junction that would encourage driving and discourage the use of other modes. It is clear that it would be difficult to add non-car infrastructure to the proposed “hamburger junction” without causing significant delays at peak times. Further work is required to establish the necessary size and confirm the capacity and other details of an alternative junction. In addition, the Symonds’ study should be revisited to consider the impact on surrounding junctions if all movements are not provided for at this junction. 8.3.25 In order to introduce activity to the riverside, the potential realignment of Skinnerburn Road should be investigated. Realigning it so that it is directly adjacent to the existing riverside walkway may enable the introduction of development to its northern side bringing activity and overlooking to the area and making the walkway and riverside a safer space [Estimated cost: £1,750,000 £2,000,000*].
8.3.26 The introduction of new and improved north-south links should be pursued in a number of locations. In some cases this would entail upgrading existing routes, improving the public realm and introducing new development that provides better overlooking. In others it would require the creation of new routes breaching the branch railway to open up the area. This is likely to require acquisition of the railway and the removal of sections of it. The creation of new ‘green route’ and possibly a linear park linking all the way from Scotswood Road along Dunn Street to the river would help to make the river and its walkway more accessible to residents as a recreational resource [Estimated cost: £500,000 £1,000,000*]. It would give the large areas of housing on the north side of Scotswood Road direct links to the riverside via a linear greenspace, widening to the south, fronted and overlooked by new 4 - 5 storey housing. 8.3.27 Acquisition of the east/west railway line would also enable the creation of a pedestrian/ cycle route direct from the station along the route of the railway and into the heart of the site [Estimated cost: £800,00 - £1,000,000*]. This would still be workable if sections of the raised line were removed – in fact it would ease access into the site. In the long term it could provide a possible route for a future LRT system through the area. 8.3.28 The Council and its partners should also look to acquire, clear and remediate the gasholder site. The two gas holders on the site
are operational and likely to remain so in the near future as the owners, Transco, have no immediate plans to change. If they were to be considered a real impediment to future development, Transco would consider looking into the feasibility of removing the holders and ‘line-packing’ instead (gas is stored as well as transported in existing larger pipes). There would be a cost associated with this, which could be in the range of £2-3million. There would also be the cost of acquiring and cleaning the site. If the proposed new combined heat and power station happens (currently proposed to be located on a nearby site on the river’s edge) this could help to offset some of the cost, in that Transco would be getting an additional income from supplying the power station.
8.4 Sub-Area 4. Discovery
Stage 1. Area Analysis Context and Background 8.4.1 The area from Newcastle College and the Discovery Museum (and the residential beyond), linking across and up St. James’s Boulevard to the City Centre, Central Station and Gallowgate. 8.4.2 This area is critically located between the Life Centre to the east, the Discovery Centre to the north and Newcastle College campus to the west. Its role is to enable connections to be made between these major centres of cultural activity. The area around the ICL and Marlborough Crescent play an increasingly important role in Newcastle’s evening economy and are emerging as part of the City’s ‘gay quarter’.
Figure 8.6 Area Framework: Discovery
Physical Appraisal 8.4.3 St James Boulevard cuts through the area from north to south, inhibiting easy cross routes. The junction of the Boulevard, Scotswood Road and the Redheugh Bridge approach (the Redheugh Bridgehead Junction) sits astride Sub Areas 2,3 and 4 - the significance of this location as an entrance, potentially enclosed by substantial buildings should be recognised, as it will set the image for this entry into Newcastle. [See Figure 7.3] 8.4.4 Most of the remainder of the area consists of low density, low rise commercial development, including car showrooms and service centres, some of which is in decline. The area also possesses the compact new Bus Station and small scale mixed use premises along this part of the Scotswood Road and Marlborough Crescent.
8.4.5 The relatively narrow zone around the Discovery Museum and Blandford Square is dominated by car parking and low utilitarian buildings, forming a poor entrance area for the museum and an unsatisfactory setting for the smaller scale historic buildings to the north. The frontage to St James Boulevard is currently inappropriate as it is low, fragmented and set back from the back edge of the pavement.
connected to the College. The development could be in medium rise pavilions enclosing a central square. 8.4.7 The south-western edge of the sub area, between Scotswood Road and the College campus, is largely a cleared site providing an open and exposed frontage to the road. This whole area has a ‘no mans land’ feel to it. Key Drivers 8.4.8 The key drivers (existing and potential) for development in this area will be: • International Centre For Life (ICFL) – good potential for the location of associated bioscience related development. • • Discovery Museum – major cultural resource and visitor attraction.
8.4.6 The area between the Campus and the Discovery Centre should be centred on a Y-shaped group of three mainly pedestrian streets, linking the Discovery Museum, the Life Centre via the Bus Station and the tower of the campus, with a minor public space at the junction of the three streets, These streets largely follow existing routes. The built form of future development in this sub area, whilst retaining predominantly commercial uses could be supplemented by science based high-tech enterprises, some of which may be
St. James’ Boulevard – can provide a focus for activity and development, as well as just providing access.
Newcastle College – growing educational facility, drawing students into the area, and potentially complementary businesses and other associated uses.
Extended and improved east/west pedestrian link – would help to tie the whole area together and link it into its surroundings.
Stage 2. Proposed Way Forward Future Role 8.4.10 This sub-area can play a key role as a multifunctional area providing a focus for the wider study area. It will enable the expansion and development of the City Centre office and housing markets as well as have a transitional role, connecting the City Centre to the Inner West. It will be critical in terms of accessing the large level of development that is proposed in the wider area and particularly in relation to achieving successful integration of transport. Land Use and Development Principles 8.4.11 This area should be very much a mixed use area with a significant element of office uses in order to accommodate the westward expansion of the City Centre. It should also enable and encourage expansion of the College, the creation of local retail on Westmorland Road, and appropriate residential and leisure development. 8.4.12 Office development for the corporate market towards the northern and eastern edges of the area would enable expansion down along St. James’s Boulevard and westward from the City Centre. The area also offers the potential to develop offices to accommodate biosciences occupiers
Marlborough Crescent – diverse evening economy attracting visitors and associated development.
associated with ICFL. Around George Street, smaller-scale office development for professional, creative, media, etc. users should be encouraged. The George Street area would be the logical place to accommodate some expansion of the adjoining College, giving it a more prominent frontage and entrance. 8.4.13 There is a potential to create a focus to this area that helps to pull the various elements of the wider area together. The creation of a local centre within the area including shops and community facilities (e.g. primary care services) would reinforce this area’s role as an accessible focal point. Any possible new retail provision needs to be considered in the context of the Inner West and the wider West End. However if the Council wishes to change the housing market in the Inner West they will need to consider radical changes to the form and location of neighbourhood facilities rather than necessarily shoring up facilities that may never be capable of attracting and sustaining a balanced and thriving housing market. 8.4.14 Residential development in this area will have a part to play in linking the City Centre housing market into the West End and assisting housing market renewal in the adjoining areas. Given this role, a greater mix of residential form, tenure and size of units should be provided in this area than currently exists in much of the City Centre.
Transport Hub – Central Station, the potential Orpheus stop, coach station, Redheugh Bridgehead and St. James’ Boulevard are either in or directly adjacent to this area.
Private sector land assembly - with land acquisition in the area being pursued by the private sector, there is the potential to package and develop sites.
Key Developer and Landowner Aspirations 8.4.9 Current developer aspirations for the sites within this area include a high density residential-led mixed use scheme, expansion of the College and a potential office scheme to the north. See sites D and E in the matrix included in Appendix 2.
to serve the older adult and family market. 8.4.16 In order to connect better with adjoining areas, particularly to the east and west, as well as playing this transitional role between City Centre and West End, it requires the creation and improvement of east-west routes through the area. The area also needs to have a better relationship (better frontage, layout, design and more pedestrian friendly) to these east-west routes as well as to the key north-south route, St. James’ Boulevard. They need to become vibrant centres of activity, rather than just through routes. 8.4.17 The College should not become an inward-looking ‘campus’, that creates a physical barrier. In particular the College needs to improve its relationship with the existing residential areas to the west, as well as with Westmorland Road and Scotswood Road, and not just the City Centre. There should be clear, well-defined public routes through the College. The clear definition of what is public space and what is private College space will help to encourage pedestrian movement through the area by the general public, whilst at the same time safeguarding the security of the College property. 8.4.15 Building upon assets including the ICFL, Discovery Museum, potential visitor attraction development in the Gateway area, Marlborough Crescent, etc. the area should aim to develop a leisure and evening economy not currently catered for by large parts of the City Centre. In particular it should look at trying Key Actions/Interventions 8.4.18 An extended and enhanced pedestrian route should be created all the way from the Inner West, through the College, across St. James Boulevard and linking into the City
Centre [Estimated cost: £200,000 £400,000*]. This link should be as clear and direct a route as possible with a good quality environment, with active frontages and well overlooked. Routes to, from and through Newcastle College are all important to achieve this. The Council must influence the masterplan that is currently being developed for the College, to ensure that these connections are achieved. As well as ensuring that its estate relates better to surrounding areas and routes, there is a role for the Council to play in guiding and assisting the College to expand into the George Street area. 8.4.19 The layout, frontage and public realm of the two existing east-west routes, Scotswood Road and Westmorland Road, should also be enhanced to encourage pedestrian activity. 8.4.20 St. James’ Boulevard needs to become an environment where pedestrians feel more comfortable, as was the intention of the original design. The development of active ground floor frontages along Boulevard and particularly at the junctions with the key east-west routes will be vital to achieving this. 8.4.21 Land acquisition should be pursued to enable the upgrading of the Redheugh Bridgehead. A planning brief/guidance should also be put in place to guide the development form around the new junction. 8.4.22 A significant new public square should be located in the vicinity of the Discovery
Museum to Blandford Square [Estimated cost: £200,000 - £750,000*]. This square will not only provide an appropriate setting for the Museum building but will also act as a meeting and resting place, as well as a potential performance space. It should also have the capacity to accommodate an Orpheus/Metro station at some stage in the future. The opportunity also exists for the entrance to the Museum to potentially be moved from its present ‘invisible’ location on the north east of the Museum to the more visible and accessible southern corner, at the focus of pedestrian routes in this area. 8.4.23 The Council, which has some land holdings in this area, should work with other landowners on the remainder of Blandford Square in order ensure the development of a landmark building (or group of landmark buildings) fronting on to the Boulevard and the new square. The proposed built form replacing the existing buildings in this location should be of a sufficient scale to create the enclosure of St James Boulevard in a discontinuous frontage. The buildings on the Boulevard frontage would be in the region of six storeys. 8.4.24 There is currently a significant lack of retail serving the West End. The proposed new district centre at Adelaide Terrace is a significant distance from the study area. The Cruddas Park Shopping Centre is also a significant distance away and does not currently provide the level or quality of services that are likely to attract people to the area and reverse its housing market problem (and,
arguably, is unlikely to in the future). The future redevelopment of properties within the George Street Triangle part of this area offers the opportunity to provide some local shops and community services and facilities to serve both the existing residential communities west of the City Centre and the emerging City Centre residential communities. This would help to breakdown barriers with the City Centre. It would also provide some of the facilities necessary to support the sustainable evolution of the new City Centre residential communities. 8.4.25 The Westmorland Road frontage would provide the best location for this retail – attracting passing trade and linking the City and the existing adjoining residential communities. Combined with a new urban square next to the Museum (possibly containing an Orpheus/Metro station in the future) it would create a real focus to the wider area. Planning powers combined with some public realm and infrastructure works should therefore be used to encourage and facilitate an element of local retail provision in this location. We feel that retail provision in this location is unlikely in the short term to have a negative impact on the existing Cruddas Park Shopping Centre, which is already failing to attract occupiers. This proposal does however need to be considered in the wider context of retail provision in the Discovery Quarter/ Elswick area (this should be considered in the Elswick Study now underway).
8.4.26 In order to attract and develop a leisure and evening economy that is different from much of the rest of the City Centre, licensing powers should be used to control the nature of premises that are licensed in the area – encouraging restaurants and café bars, rather than ‘vertical drinking’ establishments. There is already a different niche market on Marlborough Crescent at present (active, in use, with character.), which the Council should look to support. Works to enhance the public realm in this location and in particular to emphasise the start of Scotswood Road – the City’s major east-west route, would help to reinforce this as an attractive and safe destination as well as encourage private investment to refurbish or redevelop the buildings. 8.4.27 Planning controls should be used to ensure that rather than getting more large City Centre apartment blocks of 1 and 2 bed units, larger units are encouraged in smaller blocks.
Figure 8.7 Newcastle Gallowgate map of public realm
Figure 8.8 Area Framework: Brewery
8.5 Sub-Area 5. - Brewery
Stage 1. Area Analysis Context and Background 8.5.1 Situated to the west of the northern end of St. James’ Boulevard, north of Westgate Road and south of Barrack Road, this is the 19 acre site of the former Scottish and Newcastle Tyne Brewery. The relocation of the brewery and the subsequent closure of operations on this site was announced in May 2004. Physical Appraisal 8.5.2 The existence of this large single land use in this location has for many years been a major barrier between the largely residential neighbourhoods to the west and the City Centre to the east. Given the nature of the land use the routes that pass the site are unattractive, unwelcoming, poorly overlooked and have limited activity. They very much give the impression of a ‘back door’ entrance to the City Centre. 8.5.3 The original street pattern of the area was largely obliterated as a result of its redevelopment as a brewery [See Figures 8.8 & 8.9]. However the historic street pattern could be largely reinstated, as its north-east to south-west orientation is appropriate to achieve a coherent connection between the residential areas in the west and the City
Centre via Gallowgate to the north-east. The success of the regeneration of this area will rely to a large extent on the connections it makes with the adjoining street pattern and in particular upon the creation of clear, legible through routes, that help to fully and seamlessly reintegrate it as a part of the wider city. 8.5.4 There is a considerable fall of 20 metres across the site from west to east [Figure 8.10]. This general slope is interrupted in the north west corner of the site by a retaining wall, creating a sizeable level area. 8.5.5 The scale of the buildings on the site also changes significantly from west to east, from mainly two storey domestic in the west (where these have not been cleared) to the larger scale six or seven storey industrial scale in the east. Some of these buildings, at the south east end of Wellington Street are robust, and their retention (or partial retention) could be considered; certainly their scale and form should influence redevelopment proposals. There are two buildings of particular architectural and landmark interest; the Westgate Hall, Listed Grade II – a fine Edwardian freestyle building with a lively tall skyline, and the corner building on Wellington Road topped by a large cupola. Both these buildings should be taken into account as positive elements in the redevelopment process. The remainder of the buildings on the brewery site would seem to be of little architectural interest, although the importance of the brewery to the city’s heritage and identity needs to be recognised.
8.5.6 The area on the brewery’s western flank is bounded by large areas of poorer quality, social housing, yet on the southern boundary there are pockets of higher quality housing. Along Westgate Road and within Summerhill Square there lies some of Newcastle’s finest town houses. Westgate Road and Summerhill Square were historically important residential areas of the city and during the last century these areas have maintained value despite the significant increase and imbalance in social housing surrounding them. Key Drivers 8.5.7 The key drivers (existing and potential) for development in this area will be: • Scale of development opportunity close to City Centre – it is likely that this will be the largest single site to come on the market so close to the City Centre, either in recent history or for the foreseeable future. • Single ownership – the whole area is currently in the ownership of Scottish & Newcastle Breweries. • St. James’ Metro Station – close to the site, the Metro Station provides a link to the City Centre and the wider network beyond.
Figure 8.9 The Gallogate/ Brewery Area - 1914 Map Map showing the grain of streets prior to the redevelopment of the Brewery and other post-war redevelopment
Copyright: OS editions published by Alan Godfrey maps, Porspect Business Park, Ledgate Consett DH8 7PW
Figure 8.10 Historic Routes superimposed onto present day map
Figure 8.11 Brewery; uses and storeys plan
Figure 8.12 Brewery and Gallowgate Area Proposals
Figure 8.13 An indicative layout of the Gallowgate / Brewery area showing the approach to built form, creation of small to medium scale urban blocks, graduation of plot density and the relationship of the predominantly residential west end, with the mixed uses of the core around the Piazza. Existing buildings are shown in the lightest brown tone.
Figure 8.14 Remodelled junction at Blenheim Street and Wellington Street to achieve more pedestrian friendly crossings, a ‘Ramblas-style’ promenade street and increased flow on Wellington Steet
Figure 8.15 Barrack Road / Wellington Street Reviced junction layout
St. James’ Park – a major visitor destination adjacent to the site that attracts thousands of visitors to the area.
from blocks of City Centre apartments in the east to town housing in the west, and likewise from larger floorplate corporate offices down to smaller scale professional offices and workspaces. 8.5.11 The land uses and scale of built form should change across the area from west to east. In the west the residential uses should predominate, making an easy transition from the existing housing areas. Here buildings will be grouped in short terraces and courtyards, mainly 3 and 4 storey (relating to the scale of the nearby Summerhill area) with one or two accent buildings at 5 or 6 storeys. This area should have a permeable and legible street pattern. The hierarchy of streets should range from conventional streets through to home zones. Some mixed-use buildings, potentially offices/workspace with living over, could be situated along Corporation Street, building upon an established pattern of land use in this area. [Figure 8.11] 8.5.12 In order to make it an attractive place to live and to work, the area needs to contain elements of open space. These should have a clearly defined role and fit into the hierarchy of provision for the wider area. 8.5.13 Overall the whole site needs to connect better with surrounding areas and integrate with the wider city and be far more permeable. There should be a clear and legible network and hierarchy of streets, making the area easy, safe and inviting to navigate within and through.
The side lanes between the Westgate Road terraces should be extended into the area and new streets should connect with the routes off Diana Street. Key Actions/Interventions 8.5.14 The Council should aim to work with the owner (Scottish & Newcastle) to agree and adopt a detailed masterplan or planning brief/ guide that establishes the fundamental principles for the redevelopment of the site. 8.5.15 As a basic component of the redevelopment of the site, the Council should require through planning guidance that a network of clear and direct routes across the site should be created/enhanced (particularly east-west from the existing residential to Gallowgate) to reduce the current barrier effect. This guidance should also require a better relationship (better frontage, layout, design and more pedestrian friendly) between the new development and these new or existing routes, to ensure that they are attractive, vibrant, welcoming and safe. On some of the more prominent key routes (e.g. Wellington Street) there should also be a higher quality of public realm. 8.5.16 The City, through its recently introduced controls on residential schemes in excess of ten units in areas outside (or peripheral to) the core Pathfinder areas, should seek to influence
Key Developer and Landowner Aspirations 8.5.8 Current landowner aspirations for the sites within this area include a broad mixeduse scheme. See site Q in the matrix included in Appendix 2. Stage 2. Proposed Way Forward Future Role 8.5.9 This sub-area should have a key role in blurring the boundaries between City Centre and the Inner West, becoming a transitional zone that achieves the successful integration of these two wider areas, to their mutual benefit. Land Use and Development Principles 8.5.10 In order to work as a transitional area, it would be mixed use with predominantly office, leisure to the east, and residential to the west, but with a high degree of blending in. In terms of scale of development it would step down significantly from St. James’ Boulevard in the east to Diana Street in the west. In terms of development type it would also scale down
residential development in the Brewery area, to ensure that it helps to achieve housing market renewal objectives. Guidance should also seek to achieve the creation landmark buildings on the eastern edge of the site. 8.5.17 An enhanced role for Wellington Street is envisaged whereby it will become both an important link between Barrack Road and St James’ Boulevard, carrying all traffic that currently runs between these two roads, as well as an important access route to/from the northern end of the study area. This will require a mixture of highway and environmental improvement works [Estimated cost: £275,000 - £500,000*]. To achieve this it is also proposed that Wellington Streets’ junctions with Barrack Road and St James’ Boulevard are upgraded. 8.5.18 The St James’ Boulevard/Wellington Street junction will require widening on the St James’ Boulevard south and Wellington Street arms, with widening to four lanes on St James’ Boulevard and three lanes on Wellington Street (See Figure 8.12 for the proposed junction layout). This will necessitate the closure of Corporation Street at its junction with Wellington Street. 8.5.19 The Barrack Road/Wellington Street junction is currently limited movement, with left-turn in/out of Wellington Street only – essentially the junction forms three-arms with Stanhope Street. It is proposed that the junction is ‘opened up’ to all movement (except
for left into Wellington Street from Barrack Road), with two lanes on the Wellington Street approach and junction geometry and signal staging such that Wellington Street/Barrack Road becomes the predominant movement. The junction would incorporate staggered pedestrian crossing facilities on all arms. (See Figure 6.3 for the proposed junction layout) 8.5.20 The Council has identified an issue with the inability of the housing market to meet the overall demand for housing to buy within the city. An area the size of the Brewery site would undoubtedly bring forward areas of land suitable for the Council’s wish to aim to achieve a re-balancing of the market. Therefore, In terms of residential development in this area it is envisaged that it would be mainly private housing for sale. This would build upon the advantages of its location next to the City Centre, bringing a greater level of private housing (differing from the City Centre apartments) in to the West End, helping to boost its housing market. However the scale of the residential development in the area means that it would be feasible to provide an element of social housing on the site, and specifically types of social housing that are currently under provided for in the wider area (e.g. accommodation for larger families and the elderly). The location of an element of social housing mixed within the main body of private housing on the site would also help it blend in better with the adjoining areas of social housing, rather than having a clear demarcation between the two.
8.5.21 Moving eastward, the scale increases and 6-8 storey buildings should predominate. These would be largely for office use, but will also contain elements of housing. The main axis running from Gallowgate and through the Brewery area to the Westgate Road/Elswick Road junction, will be marked by a clear and direct street which will link a sequence of public spaces ranging from the grand and rather formal to the more intimate neighbourhood squares. 8.5.22 As the site reaches its eastern boundary with St. James’ Boulevard the scale and design of buildings should reflect their prominent frontage onto this key route, and seek to create landmarks. Development in this location should also be predominantly offices, but it also offers the opportunity for leisure uses. In relation to office development, the Brewery site is not regarded as being a Grade A development opportunity. The site sits behind opportunities elsewhere within the Stephenson, Discovery and Gallowgate sub areas. However, due to its close proximity to the Boulevard, there is the potential to create a new office quarter if the overall demand within the city centre is sufficiently strong. 8.5.23 The creation of a local park within the area serving the new residents and the existing residents nearby (as well as the office workers during lunchtime) would help to provide a focus for the area. In its role as providing that focus, it could act as a place for people to meet or to
Figure 8.16 Area Framework: Gallowgate
rest, or for children’s play. It would also have significant visual amenity value, adding to quality of life as well as to the value of surrounding properties. 8.5.24 The Council should look to regenerate Westgate Road as a frontage for the Brewery site, through guiding retail development associated with the site’s redevelopment to locate there, and by undertaking complementary public realm and infrastructure improvements to attract investment and enhance its function as a focus for retail, together with other services and activity. 8.5.26 The Council should look to encourage accommodation for SMEs (small-medium sized enterprises) at western end of site - a location that could provide a good combination of proximity to the City Centre and cheaper accommodation. In particular, space for business start-ups and managed workspace should be provided. As well as using guidance the Council and its partners should also consider site acquisition and direct funding support to enable this type of development to take place.
Park south to Gallowgate and west from the edge of the City Centre, across to Wellington Road. It includes the adjacent brewery’s former bottling plant, which was closed several years ago. Physical Appraisal 8.6.2 The area comprises two parts, each of a different character, severed by Barrack Road. 8.6.3 The area to the north side of Gallowgate rising towards Strawberry Place to the north and Barrack Road to the west. The frontages along the main streets have been substantially demolished and much of the interior of the site has been cleared, the exceptions being the Wellbar House, the eastern most frontages of Gallowgate and the Strawberry pub on Strawberry Place. The area in front of St James’ Park is in poor condition, consisting of a poor quality landscape scheme, hoardings and steps taking up the change in level. Much of this area is used as a temporary car park. 8.6.4 The area between Barrack Road and Wellington Road, with St James’ Boulevard as its eastern boundary. Most of this area was taken up by post-war developments associated with the Brewery. These include the Slab block and a bulky five storey industrial building. The remainder of the area comprises low rise industrial and commercial units set well back from St James’ Boulevard, contributing to a considerable lack of enclosure to the already wide road. The former church,
now the ‘People’s kitchen’ is listed. It is almost of a domestic scale and a curious vernacular style, presenting a gable end to Wellington Road. Consideration of this building and its setting will have an effect on the proposals in this area. Wellington Road itself has a substantially contained character towards its south-eastern end. 8.6.5 Pedestrian linkage between the two areas is poor due to the width of Gallowgate and lack of pedestrian facilities in the vicinity of the St James’ Boulevard/Gallowgate roundabout. Key Drivers 8.6.6 The key drivers (existing and potential)
for development in this area will be:
Developer interest and proposals –
development proposals area currently being
worked up by landowners or developers for the
majority of sites within the area.
• St. James’ Metro Station – located in the heart of the area, it provides a link to the City Centre and the wider network beyond. • St. James’ s Park – a major visitor destination right on the northern boundary, it attracts thousands of visitors to the area.
8.6 Sub-Area 6. Gallowgate
Stage 1. Area Analysis Context and Background 8.6.1 This sub-area runs from St. James’s
Figure 8.17 Gallowgate, uses and storeys plan
8.6.6 Newcastle University – growing educational facility, drawing students into the area, with potentially complementary businesses and other associated uses. City Centre – the shops, services, facilities and other attractions of the City Centre are highly accessible, right on the area’s doorstep. Key Developer and Landowner Aspirations 8.6.7 Current developer aspirations for the sites within this area include a casino-led mixed-use scheme and a number of proposals for office and residential schemes. See sites S and T in the matrix attached in Appendix 2. Stage 2. Proposed Way Forward Future Role 8.6.8 This sub-area should have a key role in accommodating office expansion (together with an element of leisure uses) from the City Centre. Land use and Development Principles 8.6.9 It is envisaged as a mixed-use area, consisting of predominantly office development with some leisure associated with the football stadium and, to a lesser extent, an element of housing. It has potential for landmark/tall buildings. 8.6.10 The main aim on the eastern part of this sub-area should be to reinstate the continuity of the street frontages along
Gallowgate with 6-8 storey buildings on the back edge of the footpath. Similarly the Strawberry Place frontage should be reinstated with buildings of approximately 5-6 storeys reducing to 3-4 storeys to relate to the scale of the Strawberry Pub. North-South connections from Gallowgate should connect with the streets on the north side of Strawberry Place and give the area a fine grain of narrow plots. The line of the metro runs diagonally across the area and this should be maintained as a pedestrian street, with an intimate square at either end. Frontages in this area should where possible generate activity potentially leisure uses with some retail. Upper floors would be mainly commercial with some residential in the shallower blocks. [Figure 8.11] 8.6.11 Part of the area between St James’ Park Metro Station and the top of St James’ Boulevard should be taken up by a major public urban space ideally of an irregular semi circular plan, facing south. The changes in level could be taken up by an arc of steps and ramps, forming informal arena seating in sunny weather and could be used for open air events. This entrance to the Metro Station would help generate pedestrian movement in this space, as would the street level leisure uses fringing the northern arc of the space. The paved surface and steps should be in robust natural materials such as Caithness flagstones and granite steps. 8.6.12 The pressure for high-rise development
could be satisfied to a substantial extent by the creation of an ‘arc of towers’ of different heights from about 18 - 45 storeys framing the public space. The location of two of the five towers would be centred on the existing slab blocks. The highest tower of the group would be at the focus of a number of long views and be formally related to the central axis of St James’ Park Stadium, in order to establish a logic to its location, balancing with the massing of St James’ Park. The other two towers would be either side of the tower on the junction of St James’ Boulevard and Barrack Road. The exact plan shape and profile of these towers would be finally determined by considerations of minimising overshadowing and negative microclimatic effects. It is envisaged that podium development of between 5-8 storeys, where towers address public spaces, may help minimise the effects of downdraught. [Figure 8.17] 8.6.13 The smaller public space to the west of the three towers on the west side of Barrack Road would be enclosed by six to ten storey buildings with active frontages at street level. This space would be the focus of a network of short streets running north-south and eastwest. The east–west axis would connect to Wellington Road, the Brewery Development beyond and then on into the West End, ensuring a continuous pedestrian link between the residential areas to the south-west and city centre to the north east. The frontage facing St James’ Boulevard would enclose this wide avenue and balance with the recent eight
Figure 8. 17 The Piazza faces south and west and addresses the differences of level with an arc of steps and ramps creating an arena of informal seating for events. The public realm extends under the main tower via glazed canopies. The trees give screening and shelter. The ‘Ramblas’ type promenade street of the tree lined St James Boulevard, with groups of kiosks is shown to the south.
Figure 8. 18 Plan showing the location of the 5 landmark towers A-E, inrelation to the Stadium. The metro station and tunnels and the proposed Piazza. Basement level parking (P) is also indicated.
Figure 8.19 Conceptual Sketch of proposed Piazza
storey development on the east side of the Boulevard. 8.6.14 The northern end of St James Boulevard between the proposed square and the junction with Wellington Road could be enhanced as a possible first phase of a ‘Ramblas’ type promenade running down the centre of the street potentially (but not necessarily) as far as the proposed gateway square at the Redheugh Bridgehead. These promenading streets are popular in many cities, not only Barcelona, but also Gothenburg, Stockholm and Helsinki in more northern latitudes. The central reservation would be widened to approximately 10m and the existing over generous pavements narrowed accordingly. The two lines of trees, as existing, would be augmented by two others along the walkway. This would have the advantage of reducing the wind effects along the Boulevard as well as creating a welcome linear greenspace in this part of the city. It is envisaged that kiosks and stalls would be located along the promenade between the trees. Imaginative lighting would help to make this an attractive evening venue. Paving would consist of precast paving slabs with a local sandstone aggregate. Seating, kiosks, advertising and lighting would be of a coordinated and robust design. Public art including the contemporary statue of Jackie Milburn would also be located along this promenade. 8.6.15 A strong corner building at the junction of the Wellington Road and St James
Boulevard would have an essential pivotal role and make a sharp reduction in scale on the Wellington Road frontage to relate to the ‘People’s Kitchen’. The buildings facing Wellington Road would reflect the existing bulky scale enclosing the street. These would be of mixed uses of retail, commercial and some residential. The triangular site to the north of Hill Street would be mainly high density residential units, mainly one or two bedrooms. Car parking and servicing throughout this area would be at basement level accessed via ramped streets at Hill Street and opposite Bath Lane. Rationale 8.6.16 The aspirations of the stakeholders regarding the western side of Newcastle city centre and in the Gallowgate and Brewery area in particular, have led to pressure to redevelop or refurbish the existing two slab blocks Wellbar House (16 storeys) and the Scottish & Newcastle block (11 storeys). Additionally, proposals are being drawn up for substantial tall buildings – up to 65 storeys in one case in the area at the interface of St James Park and the eastern end of the former Brewery. This guidance is based on the premise that if commercial development of this scale can generate the momentum for regeneration and the provision of infrastructure, then tall buildings can be a positive contribution to the cityscape if their massing and design is carefully considered.
8.6.17 The area presents considerable potential for regeneration as it comprises previously developed land and it is the existing focus of the local road system and a metro station is situated at its heart. 8.6.18 This area is already a local landmark as the substantial mass of the St James Park Stadium structure is visible on the skyline especially where the city is approached from the south, from both the Redheugh road bridge and the King Edward VII railway bridge. The stadium with its bold expression of structure and its gigantic scale at street level is sufficiently robust to absorb large scale structures nearby – provided that their effect at street level is to be considered sensitively. 8.6.19 A cluster of towers at this major nodal point within the city could give it a memorable skyline which, if sensitively designed could add to the positive image of Newcastle. The advantage of grouping towers imparts a sense of coherent and considered composition rather than apparently random towers which individually break the skyline. The intention is to concentrate landmark buildings at this point, with tall buildings located in rare instances elsewhere in significant nodal locations, depending on skyline impact. 8.6.20 The impact of tall buildings on the skyline of Newcastle will require further detailed exploration. At present the main features on the west side of the city are the three identical residential towers to the west
(also visible from the Redheugh and Rail bridges – and from the air on landing at the airport); lower but more symbolic towers are those of the Civic Centre, glimpsed to the east, the church towers at the Summerhill end of Westgate Road, and the spire of Pugin’s Roman Catholic Cathedral. The comparatively low (10 storeys) tower of Newcastle College is also a local landmark. 8.6.21 If towers are to be developed therefore, their visual and symbolic impact should be considered in terms of their relation to each other, their collective skyline and their relationship in long and short views to existing skyline landmarks. A group of towers at St James Park should signify a district or quarter: the message imparted by the towers is that these are a destination where publicly related active street frontages and communal public spaces will be encountered. 8.6.22 Additionally, the microclimatic impact of the towers will require studies by applicants. In particular the footprint and profile of each tower should be designed to minimise downdraughts and turbulence between the tall buildings. To this end, the massing of each tower could include podium development and/or street level canopies in public areas near each tower. The use of significant groups of trees may also contribute to microclimate control. The effect of shadows cast by the towers will require analysis. The critical area to be investigated should be the proposed piazza south of St James Park at the head of St James
Boulevard. It is important that this major public space receives sunlight up to 3pm between March and October in order that its function as an event space and lunchtime informal seating area is not compromised. Massing and Height 8.6.23 It is likely that ultimately there could be five towers in the St James Park group. Tower A 8.6.24 As the location of Wellbar House is already established, even if it is redeveloped, this would be the most eastern of the group. Any tower built further east than this would have a harmful impact on the scale, grain and streetscene of Gallowgate and the relatively densely developed townscape in the vicinity. At present Wellbar House terminates a significant part of the westward view along Gallowgate. Any replacement or remodelled tower should have regard to this view and present a more appropriate silhouette, possibly stepping back northwards away from the Gallowgate frontage, at a maximum of 12 storeys to a maximum height of approximately 20 storeys. Tower B 8.6.25 The other ‘fixed’ location for a tower is the existing Scottish and Newcastle block on the corner of St James Boulevard and Barrack Road. This is a pivotal location which would help to frame and contain the urban square. It
is also at the interface between the larger scale of St James Park and the Boulevard, and the finer grained more enclosed network of streets and squares proposed for the area on its southwest side. The height of any redeveloped building at this point would be determined by the shadow it would cast on the public space. It is likely therefore that the building should not exceed 18-20 storeys dependent on floor to floor heights and it should not obscure the line of sight from the pavement outside Eldon Square along Gallowgate to the Cupola on the former Brewery building on Wellington Street. Two other towers could be located near Tower B, one Tower C to the south of Tower B, facing St James Boulevard and Tower D on Barrack Road facing St James Park Stadium. Tower C 8.6.26 This would be the lowest structure, creating the transition between Tower B and the remainder of the development facing this part of St James Boulevard, which should be no higher than the recent 8-9 storey blocks on the east side of the Boulevard. Thus Tower C should be no more than 14-15 storeys plus accommodation for any rooftop services. This tower would assist in the enclosure and containment of the width of St James Boulevard and would signify the arrival at the new Gallowgate district. Its western side will address some relatively small scale spaces and pedestrian streets and its impact at street
Figure 8.20 Map showing the context of the Arc of Landmark buildings, with the other landmark/ skyline features of Newcastle city centre. It also shows the contours related to skyline features.
Figure 8.21 This massing study for the towers indicates how their location relates to view corridors and where towers terminate axial views.
Figure 8.22 This skyline study indicates how the arc of landmark buildings could appear, when driving north across Redheugh Bridge. The cluster would reveal differing views of St James Park in the background on the approach to the city centre. Note also the cluster of gateway buildings proposed at the bridgehead junction with Scotswood Road and St James Boulevard.
level will be particularly sensitive. Tower D 8.6.27 This tower will counterbalance the mass of St James Park Stadium on the north side of Barrack Road, which is at its highest at this point, being the equivalent of about 12 storeys. The tower could be marginally higher that tower B as it is not likely to have such an impact on the proposed piazza, and this could create a sequence stepping up the incline from Towers C,B to D. Its height should not exceed 24 storeys, ie twice the height of the station. The spacing between the towers should allow later afternoon sunlight onto the piazza and allow a view of the cupola from Strawberry Place. Wind turbulence could be a problem and tests will have to be carried out to determine the appropriate tower profile. Tower E 8.6.28 It is proposed that this tower is the centrepiece of the ensemble; it should thus be at the apex of the group, giving it a coherence and logic. This central tower therefore should have an iconic location, rather than one which is the result of purely pragmatic considerations. 8.6.29 The location selected is quite deliberate – the Tower is aligned on the central axis of St James Park Stadium. This creates a formal relationship between the two most significant elements in the townscape – the Tower and
the Stadium: imparting a sense of inevitability about the location, rather than haphazardness. It should also mean that the design of the public realm between the two elements could also be formal and axial. The Tower also signifies that it has two major generators of human activity at its base, namely (a) the new piazza and (b) the Metro Station. Tower E is situated at the convergence of a number of views: (i) along Pitt Street (ii) from Barrack Road (the approach from the north west (iii) the approach from the south along St James Boulevard (iv) from Barrack Road (v) the new axis of the proposed development on the Brewery site and (vi) the view north from Stowell Street in Chinatown. 8.6.30 The tower would span the lines and the platforms at the eastern end of the Metro Station. It would also be raised on piers above street level to provide an elegant and spacious concourse connection to the proposed piazza. Tower E will be the highest of the five towers, by a significant extent, but not so tall that it loses its relationship with the four other towers or with the Stadium. Thus it should not exceed 36 storeys, ie approximately three times the height of the stadium nor be lower than 30. Its profile should be memorable, and thus may utilise the range of heights indicated. 8.6.31 Whilst these indicative heights may vary for commercial and daylighting reasons they should be regarded as maxima in each case. It is essential that the profile of this arc of landmark buildings is considered as an entity
and that a variety of height and profile is achieved, with Tower E presiding over the group, on its elevated position. The grouping will also ensure that the original landmark, the St James Park Football Stadium is seen between the towers – terminating a number of views between them. The Piazza 8.6.32 A major public space is proposed which would act as the social focus for the new business and leisure quarter emerging in the area. 8.6.33 The location of the piazza at the junction of the east west route developed between Gallowgate and the new Brewery area, and the existing St James Boulevard and Barrack Road make this a natural focus of routes. The location at the heart of the arc of landmark towers, the entrance to the Metro, and at the “front door” of St James Park Stadium reinforces its pivotal location. Moreover, the location is a natural amphitheatre facing south, due to the existing change of level on site. 8.6.34 The design of the piazza should take full advantage of these locational and social characteristics. The indicative plan shows the footprint of buildings surrounding and sheltering the north, east and western sides of the piazza. These buildings should have active frontages at publicly accessible levels. 8.6.35 The piazza itself would be
characterised by an arc of ramps and steps providing informal seating for watching events and pausing for a while on sunny days. The southern more open side of this space would be enclosed by a double line of trees acting as a shelter belt and visual screen filtering out the intrusiveness of the road junction. 8.6.36 The level of the piazza would be raised by approximately 1 metre above the existing level, to ensure that this people space predominates over the traffic spaces. 8.6.37 The approach to the piazza from the north would be either through a dramatic concourse under the focal landmark Tower E or a concourse linking a possible high level access to the metro station from Strawberry Place. 8.6.37 The design of the piazza itself should reinforce the sense of a major new civic square. Thus materials should be durable and robustly designed, with an appropriate sense of metropolitan scale and quality. The aim is to produce an ambiance similar to Broadgate London or Victoria Square in Birmingham. The natural materials used in the enhancement programme in Grainger Town would be appropriate here. Thus Caithness stone for flagstones and granite for steps and benches would predominate. Cast iron tree grids and stainless steel lighting columns and signs should also be employed. Design should be contemporary, avoiding a pseudo-heritage character. A slightly raised platform could be
used as a stage, and temporary or permanent tented structures could be utilised. 8.6.38 It is envisaged that plane trees or a similar ‘urban’ species should be used. Planting beds of shrubs would be inappropriate in this location as they are more suited to park or domestic scaled environments and would be a maintenance liability. The Junction of Gallowgate and St James Boulevard 8.6.39 It is important that this junction is reduced in its impact and is subservient to the major piazza and to the emerging “boulevard/ ramblas” character of St James Boulevard. Thus it is recommended that the existing roundabout arrangement is replaced by a traffic light controlled “T” junction. The indicative plan of the piazza area shows this. The existing flows of traffic will be eased at this junction by drawing-off some traffic along Wellington Street/Bath Lane. Gallowgate 8.6.40 The masterplan aim in this area is to reinstate the street following the considerable erosion of its character due to site clearance along much of its north side. The surviving character of the eastern end of Gallowgate should be the reference point for replacement development along the north side of the street.
The two listed buildings should be retained and refurbished and existing footways through the buildings should be utilised to connect north to Strawberry Place and west along the new network of small spaces to the proposed main piazza. 8.6.41 New development should respect the existing building line, although the pavement on this side of Gallowgate may require widening, possibly enhanced by tree planting. The heights of buildings should vary between 6 and 8 storeys. It is essential that active frontages should extend the full length of Gallowgate. Any future redevelopment or remodelling of Wellbar House should have regard to its role in partially terminating the westward view along Gallowgate. Thus the existing boxlike silhouette should be substituted by a lower profile as the tower meets Gallowgate, possibly rising at its northern end. St James Boulevard. 8.6.42 Further enhancement of this street should concentrate on the creation of a Ramblas-Boulevard, with a wide tree lined central promenade and with narrower side pavements, also lined with trees. The Ramblas would have kiosks located between the trees and have similar qualities to Barcelona, Unter den Linden in Berlin and the Boulevards of Gothenburg and Stockholm. The trees will not only create a visually attractive street which “contains” the traffic and absorbs CO2
emissions, but will act as a wind baffle and filter. Buildings lining the Boulevard on the western side will have active frontages along the street frontage and be set at the back edge of the pavement. Building heights would rise from approximately 8 storeys in the south to a maximum of 18-20 storeys in the north. Key Actions/Interventions 8.6.43 The Council should work with the owners/developers of the car park site at the entrance to the St. James’ Metro Station to ensure the creation of an urban square/plaza in this location [Estimated cost: £650,000 £1,000,000*]. Involvement of the Council and its partners may be in the form of land acquisition, planning gain or implementation/ funding of the landscaping works. 8.6.44 Planning approvals of development proposals should ensure that a pedestrian route is preserved directly over the line of the Metro tunnel from St. James’ Metro Station to Gallowgate [Estimated cost: £350,000 £500,000*]. A planning brief should lay down an appropriate public realm treatment along the length of this route to ensure consistency. 8.6.45 Planning guidance should also look to achieve the creation landmark buildings around the St. James Boulevard/Barrack Road/Gallowgate junction. 8.6.46 It requires the creation/enhancement of links to City Centre, improved frontage to key
routes and enhanced north-south links. The Council should aim to secure a higher quality public realm on certain key routes (Strawberry Lane, Gallowgate.) – where possible through planning contributions from adjoining developers. 8.6.47 The St James’ Boulevard/Gallowgate roundabout should be converted to a signalised junction with three lanes on all approaches and pedestrian phases on all arms. The junction would ‘free up’ land for development and significantly improve pedestrian accessibility across Barrack Road/ Gallowgate, tying the western part of the area better into the city. [Figure 8.14 and 8.15]
* The estimated costs provided for interventions in this section are for indicative purposes only. Full details of the basis of these estimates and any exclusions, are included in the Discovery Quarter Cost Report prepared by Turner & Townsend – Appendix 1.
9. Regional Conference / Convention Centre Location
accommodating between 700-1500 delegates for both conferences and dining, and with associated exhibition space of 2,000 sq.m. 9.1.3 KPMG have developed an outline business plan that demonstrates that a facility of this scale – requiring a development footprint of some 16,000 sq.m – could accommodate up to 60 events per annum, at national and regional levels. 9.1.4 The business plan shows that this model would be financially viable but would require significant subvention funding from the public sector to provide the appropriate mix of incentives to attract conference organisers to the region. The capital cost of the facility has been estimated at between £30-£50 million. 9.1.5 The KPMG study has identified our study area as the preferred location for this Centre. Within this location it has identified 3 preferred sites: • • • Brewery George Street Pottery Lane
Each site has been assessed in terms of: • • • Pros; Cons; and Alternative regeneration /
development prospects 9.1.7 All potential locations have: • Good or potentially good access to Central Station and the City Centre • Some regeneration benefits for their surrounding areas, by extending activity from the City Centre • • • Proximity to main vehicular routes Sufficient scale to accommodate some ancillary leisure development. None are wholly in public sector ownership. Brewery Site 9.1.8 Pros • • • • Large site could accommodate additional complementary land uses Proximity to University Single ownership Proximity to St. James’s Metro Station
9. Regional Conference / Convention Centre Location
9.1.1 The potential development of a conference/convention centre has been the subject of a separate study by KPMG on behalf of One North East and Newcastle City Council. KPMG were commissioned to test the feasibility of establishing a large scale Regional Conference/Convention Centre in the North East. The research highlighted the potential for strong growth in business tourism – NGI suggest that the market will grow from £26 million in 2001 to £100 million by 2008. 9.1.2 Despite the presence of a number of larger venues – including the Hilton and SAGE Gateshead Music Centre – the North East lacks larger scale facilities capable of
9.1.6 Obviously there is a whole range of criteria by which to judge the most suitable location for a conference/convention centre within the study area. In this section we have set this view – purely in terms of Regeneration/ Urban Design/Traffic & Transport criteria upon the 3 potential sites.
Cons Large floor-plate land use may reintroduce a barrier in this location (dependent to an extent on
Lack of ownership issues may make it quicker to bring forward for
Blocks key thoroughfare for students and residents Could limit opportunity for College to
alternative development • Key role in helping to deliver HMR objectives. 2. George Street Site (Discovery Sub-Area) 9.1.10 Pros • • Possible future Orpheus/Metro Stop at Blandford Square Benefits for adjacent College (Links with tourism, hospitality, catering courses) • Good proximity to City Centre Hotels and Station • • City Council land ownerships Potential gateway location at Bridgehead
orientation). • Orientation and servicing requirements mean that it is likely to back onto the West End. • Large-scale leisure potentially next to small-scale residential • Limited proximity to City Centre hotels and Central Station 9.1.9 Alternative Development/Regeneration Prospects • Development pressure on adjacent Bottling Plant, Gallowgate and St. James’s Boulevard. • Potential for finer grain uses that allow greater permeability and accessibility through the area. • Masterplan being developed by owners – willingness to develop/ potential to guide strategically
expand. • Would reduce potential residential development and add a potential additional barrier to the Inner West
9.1.12 Alternative Development/Regeneration Prospects • Vico land assembly and other development proposals suggests active market • Potential for finer grain uses that allow greater permeability and accessibility through the area. • • Potential expansion for ICFL Key role in delivering HMR
9.1.11 Cons • Multiple ownerships (addressed to an extent by Vico land assembly?)
Pottery Lane Site (Gateway Sub-Area) 9.1.13 Pros • Opportunity for landmark building (of prominence to visitors/patrons) in a
‘Gateway’ location – boost to external image. • • • • Proximity/benefit to Quayside Proximity to/potential for operational synergy with Arena Proximity to Hotels Catalyst/driver to tackle linkage and land assembly issues to benefit of wider area. While it may require greater works to improve vehicular accessibility, these works could have wider regeneration benefits (significantly improving accessibility of southern part of study area) • • • Potential for direct fixed transit link to station along rail route Enhance the setting and legibility of the Arena Some City Council land ownership
Can accommodate Convention Centre floorplate but size limits scope for large-scale ancillary development; though impact on wider area (Forth Street/Banks and western Quayside) will underpin regeneration benefits.
- A Convention Centre would be a major catalyst.
9.1.15 Our view is that based upon our criteria, and particularly in regeneration and urban design terms, the Pottery Lane site should be the preferred location for siting a Regional Conference/Convention Centre. 9.1.15 The George Street and Brewery sites would both be acceptable locations and, if designed and laid out correctly as part of a wider redevelopment of these areas, could work well. However if the Centre is to have a regional and national status, the river frontage site on Pottery Lane would be highly visible and legible. A Centre here would have a commanding position as the latest in a number of cultural venues sited along both banks of the Tyne, and would help this area fulfil its role as major gateway to the city. 9.1.16 The critical factor, in terms of regeneration of the study area, is that siting the Centre on Pottery Lane is likely to be the best way to resolve the significant access and land assembly issues that exist around this part of the study area and hence to attract high levels of activity and an appropriate quality of development to the area south of the railway branch line.
Alternative Development/Regeneration Prospects Development pressure in the area, therefore likely to be developed anyway, but railway sidings likely to remain in medium term.
However a lot of market pressure is for residential and therefore it may not achieve the regeneration benefits (gateway/landmark buildings,
attracting visitors/ all day activity). Danger it may become a poorly integrated residential estate. • May be difficult to create/justify/fund new link/s through railway without the
9.1.14 Cons • • • Barrier of railway line and sidings Land ownership in several hands Current local access difficulties
major driver of Centre • - Access/location means that this is a hard site to bring forward;
mixed use development at Gallowgate and the Brewery • A focus for the knowledge economy, and in particular the bioscience/ biomedical sector through the International Centre for Life, which has strong aspirations for growth driven by expansion of stem-cell research. •
spending of Newcastle College students have not been fully exploited; the key challenge is to establish the area as a distinctive part of the City Centre offer with a product differentiated from that of the Quayside and Bigg Market; there is demand from a range of leisure operators, including the casino sector • A strategic transport hub, with a series of road and rail links converging in the study area and affording strong accessibility whilst also serving as significant barriers to the creation of a coherent urban form. • A critical zone of transition, linking the jobs and leisure/cultural facilities of the City Centre to Elswick and the adjoining communities of the Inner West which afford significant opportunities for housing market renewal.
10. Delivery Plan
10.1 Realising potential
10.1.1The regeneration of the Discovery Quarter, Brewery and Gallowgate could make a substantial contribution to the economic, social and cultural life of the City over the next ten to fifteen years. Indeed it is already beginning to realise this potential. The study area is • The largest remaining opportunity for expansion of the City Centre; there is strong interest in office development along St James Boulevard and to the south of Central Station, in city living along the Tyne waterfront and in leisure/
A focus for City Centre tourism, particularly through the Discovery Museum and ICL, both of which have potential for expansion; at present the area lacks some of the associated daytime visitor infrastructure for family visitors although there is demand from hotel operators; the City Council and One NorthEast have undertaken extensive feasibility studies on the demand for and delivery of a new Convention Centre which may well be pursued within the study area.
Part of the City’s evening economy, although the proximity of the Quayside or the opportunities to capture the
10.2 Delivery models
10.2.2 The private sector has already made considerable investments in the area and is continuing to do so. There is strong developer interest and the market is very active in assembling sites throughout the Quarter. This reflects the transformation of Newcastle Gateshead since the early 1990s as a vibrant urban centre capable of sustaining development/investment values. There is very little evidence of market failure – unlike earlier, successful efforts to regenerate East Quayside, Grainger Town or Gateshead Quays. 10.2.3The study area is in a strong position to benefit from the strengthened property market that these regeneration programmes have delivered. Indeed, market adjustment has taken place to such an extent that it is possible to question whether previous models of delivery, based on strong public private partnership, should apply to the Quarter. 10.2.4 In summary, if public sector involvement in the regeneration process was limited to a regulatory role through planning and licensing, or at best a modest enabling role through use of its land and premises, would the market deliver? Would the market realise the aspirations and potential for the area to become a distinctive place and a major driver of economic growth for the City?
10.2.5 This scenario is effectively a continuation of the current approach to regeneration of the area. At present the market is delivering – but the product being delivered is not especially sophisticated. New offices are being built predominantly to a large floorplate specification and on a pre-let basis – there is little diversity in the product. The market is delivering new housing – but these are primarily 1/2 bed apartment city living units rather than a more diverse mix, including family housing. 10.2.6 A more proactive form of public sector intervention is required to achieve these aspirations, and this is also required to achieve the creation of a distinctive quality of place which will underpin the attraction of investors, developers, businesses and residents to the study area. The sub-area frameworks identify a number of key transportation and public realm works that are required to improve local accessibility, pedestrian connectivity and permeability. Cumulatively these interventions will ensure that the individual sub-areas create a coherent urban form and, through their quality, achieve the distinctive sense of place, which will attract and sustain investment values. 10.2.7 The private sector can be expected to provide those facilities which are reasonably required to allow development to proceed or to ameliorate its impacts under the Planning and Compensation Act 1991. However, the private sector is very unlikely to fund all of these
works. We explore these issues further in subsequent paragraphs. 10.2.8 On this basis, some form of publicprivate partnership will be required to realise the full potential of much of the study area. Assuming proactive use of planning and licensing powers to achieve a sustainable mix of land uses and achieve high quality urban design, the public sector will also need to: • Facilitate land assembly & remediation, particularly in relation to some of the more complex sites around Pottery Lane and other sites in the south western part of the Discovery Quarter, and also to stimulate timely market renewal and ensure key sites are integrated successfully with neighbouring communities. • • Invest in key physical infrastructure and public realm projects Utilise land assets positively in support of the regeneration process; the City Council in particular owns land in some strategic locations including Pottery Lane, the Redheugh Bridgehead/
Scotswood Road, George Street and
Westmorland Road/Blandford Square
10.2.9 The private sector will provide development expertise and investment finance and to take on a requisite level of risk. This public-private partnership model is very much akin to the approach adopted in many UK regeneration projects since the 1990s, including Grainger Town, Speke Garston and more recently the Urban Regeneration Companies established in Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield and other UK cities, including Tees Valley Regeneration. The Arms Length Management Organisation model adopted by a number of local authorities to manage social rented housing is also relevant. 10.2.10 Most of these organisations have become constituted as companies to facilitate the reinvestment of development returns. This model also allows a more flexible approach to commercial borrowing than that which is currently available to local authorities. It also provides a basis for longer-term investment by English Partnerships, Regional Development Agencies and other public sector funding sources. 10.211 In the case of the study area (in particular Discovery Quarter and the Brewery site), the URC/development company model would be underpinned by a Memorandum of Understanding, committing key stakeholders (Newcastle City Council, One NorthEast,
English Partnerships and the Newcastle Gateshead HMR Pathfinder) to use their planning, investment, compulsory purchase powers and landholdings in support of the regeneration process. The Memorandum might require the partners to: 10.2.12 Identify the key projects/interventions to be delivered by the company or its constituent partners. • • • Establish a co-ordinated approach and development timetable. Commit to the provision of financial and human resources and/or assets. Ensure that necessary site services and infrastructure are provided in accordance with the development programme. • Agree a framework to reinvest development returns or apportion any uplift in development values to the individual partners. • Coordinate marketing and publicity material relating to the activities of the company or its partners. 10.2.13 Local authority participation/share ownership requires careful consideration to avoid the creation of a local authority controlled
company under the terms of the Companies Act, whereby expenditure by the company would be considered to be part of Council spending. 10.2.14 The City Council has been in dialogue about the Discovery Quarter with the English Cities Fund, a commercial investment fund established by English Partrnerships, AMEC and Legal and General to invest in mixed-use projects on the fringes of town and city centres. ECF are a potential private investment partner in the Discovery Quarter and could be invited to participate in the joint venture partnership arrangements that emerge. Recommendation 1: 10.2.15 Newcastle City Council, English Partnerships and One NorthEast to commence negotiations on the establishment of a joint venture partnership to deliver the regeneration of the Discovery Quarter. These should explore the costs and benefits of establishing an arms length development company to enable the stakeholders to share risk and returns and reinvest in other projects in the Quarter and consider the costs and benefits of securing formal URC/UDC status.
10.3 Delivering housing market renewal
10.3.1 The study identifies the potential to realise a substantial increase in the supply of housing land on the edge of the City Centre (potentially in the region of 2,400 units), supporting the attraction and retention of a skilled and mobile workforce, which is vital to sustain Newcastle’s economic growth. 10.3.2 At present the City Centre market is predominantly delivering high value 1 and 2 bed apartments and as such is satisfying a particular market niche. However, there are some concerns that growth is being driven by the buy-to-let market which may prove unsustainable; as planning authority the City Council is seeking to diversify the type and tenure of City Centre housing although the market has yet to respond to this. 10.3.3 Achieving a more balanced mix of city living and affordable larger ‘family’ housing will be critical – and this can only be achieved by working in partnership with the private sector to: • Develop a stronger planning policy framework through the Regional Spatial Strategy and Local Development Framework which prioritises the Pathfinder area as a location for new •
housing development; the City Council’s new residential planning policy provides a starting point for this; Develop LDF policies which seek to achieve a broader mix of tenure and house type within individual developments providing more than say 10 units; • Accelerate the process of housing site assembly in the western part of the Discovery Quarter and Elswick - the HMR Pathfinder and English Partnerships can play a critical role here. 10.3.4 The housing tenure mix in the wider Discovery Quarter/Elswick area should reflect the tenure mix across the wider city. Recommendation 2: 10.3.5 Newcastle City Council and Newcastle Gateshead Pathfinder to identify and prioritise key development sites in the Waterfront, Discovery and Brewery Sub-Areas (3,4 &5), which can make a significant contribution to housing market renewal objectives. The HMR Pathfinder to consider the potential to allocate elements of its 2006/7 funding programme to
sites in the Discovery Quarter. 10.3.6 An element of residential (10-25% of total land use) should be allowed in the other Sub Areas outside the HMR boundary (in particular Sub Areas 1 and 6). This should be in order to enable them to grow as genuine mixed use urban areas that generate activity at different times of the day and throughout the week and weekend.
10.4 Sustaining the City Centre office market
10.4.1 Gallowgate and St James Boulevard have provided a new focus for the City Centre office market following completion of the East Quayside development. Recent developments including such as Citygate have proved successful. 10.4.2 The area has the potential to accommodate more than 250,000 sq.m (2,690,000 sq.ft) of office floorspace probably 10 years supply – creating almost 9,000 new jobs. 10.4.3 Looking at sites that should be developed first this is an extremely contentious issue as undoubtedly each developer feels that their developments should take priority and that they have specific reasons for bringing forward their developments within the development programme.
10.4.4 Looking at the area south of Central Station, Silverlink Developments Plc, have secured from the Trustees of St. Mary the Virgin Estate and area of land extending to approximately 7.5 acres. We understand that development proposals are currently being planned by the developers which will incorporate a substantial amount of office accommodation. Indications are that this will be a mixed use site. This development site is subject to restructuring long leasehold interests which are currently in force to occupiers could potentially be one of the first office sites to be encouraged. There already exists a substantial amount of office development in this area i.e. Central Square and Central Square South and a further planning consent for a speculative office development has already been granted on the former Bemco industrial site which is capable of providing a total of 50,000 sq.ft. of new/ refurbished office accommodation. The development of the Trustees of St. Mary the Virgin Estate site would effectively complete the development of the area south of Central Station. 10.4.5 In terms of other development opportunities and phasing of sites it would seem logical for development in the first instance to concentrate in those areas where some development has already taken place and where complete phases of development can be created rather than a “scatter gun” approach. Terrace Hill are to go on site early 2005 with their speculative phase of
development at Gallowgate, on the site adjoining Welbar House. This is to be a speculatively developed 80,000 sq.ft. Grade A office facility. It is understood that Hanro Group, who have to date refurbished Percy House and developed jointly with Unite a housing development at Gallowgate, have an additional land holding which is capable of providing up to 120,00 sq.ft. of new build offices. By encouraging development in this area “completed sectors” can be created. This should then create a thriving office community at the head of the Boulevard and be the springboard for further development south and west along the Boulevard. 10.4.6 Initially by concentrating development efforts on areas with relatively few problems in terms of developing i.e. in terms of land ownership, planning, this should encourage a phased development programme for the City which will then encourage a balance of between development and occupier take up. 10.4.7 Currently in Newcastle there is only one building that has available Grade A accommodation and that is within the building developed by Hanro for Government Office for the North East. The surplus space within the building is only 23,000 sq.ft. On site at the moment are Silverlink Developments Plc with Trinity Gardens and McKleer & Rushe with their final phase of development at St. James Gate. Both these developments are due for completing Spring/Summer 2005 and together should provide Newcastle with approximately
167,000 sq.ft. of Grade A accommodation. The next major development due for completion in Newcastle City Centre will be the Terrace Hill scheme at Gallowgate. In addition Autumn 2005 should see completion of the mixed use scheme by Amco Developments which will make available 22,000 sq.ft. of space, being two floors of 11,000 sq.ft. 10.4.8 The phasing of development programmes by developers should provide stability to the Newcastle central office market. 10.4.9 The City Centre Grade A accommodation that Discovery Quarter Brewery and Gallowgate can provide is a unique market – it offers a unique product that business parks cannot. 10.4.10 Occupiers will predominantly be a mixture of indigenous relocation and growth with an element of inward investment. The expansion and growth of the professional/ corporate sector within Newcastle has been significant in recent years (e.g. growth of Dickson Dees) and is likely to continue to grow - they will have a particular City Centre Grade A requirement. 10.4.11 The City Council should encourage and support office development as a natural progression of existing office development. Particularly this should initially mean at the eastern end of Gallowgate and in the Stephenson Sub-Areas. Elsewhere it needs to be clearly shown to be part of a detailed
masterplan for that particular area. Responsible control should continue to be exercised by the Council and the market. We believe that the level of office development proposed is realistic. 10.4.12 Undertaking the key physical and public realm interventions to tackle barriers between the area and the City Centre, will enable the private sector to come forward and build upon the great strength of its location. The scale of the area gives it the potential to accommodate a broad range of office accommodation. Infrastructure works to free up and access sites and public realm works to enhance the areas image, will enable the larger floorplate office development to attract the corporate market. 10.4.13 RecommendationNewcastle City Council to further explore the potential for SME office accommodation and to identify potential development sites and delivery mechanisms. To consider the allocation of Single Programme funding during 2005/08 to support the development of these sites for SME incubator and managed office space.
International Centre for Life could indeed play an important part in creating the infrastructure to support commercialisation of the region’s research and development expertise. This notwithstanding, there are a number of issues which should be addressed in considering ICFL’s expansion proposals: • Establishing the long-term role and commitment of Newcastle University to ICL - the University is currently in negotiation to extend its current occupation of a significant part of the premises until 2013 but is also exploring the potential to bring some of its related research activity back within the main campus; • Exploring mechanisms to secure longterm revenue funding and sustainability for the visitor attraction component; •
options is required to resolve competing demands for this site. Recommendation 3: 10.5.2 One NorthEast and partners to commission independent review of the Technopolis proposals to consider strategic rationale, market demand from academic/ pharmaceutical communities, delivery options and capital and revenue funding.
10.6 Creating a leisure destination
Visitor economy 10.6.1 The Discovery Quarter already has a role as a visitor destination during the day through the presence of the Discovery Museum and International Centre for Life. 10.6.2 Despite the presence of these visitor anchors and the Jurys Inn hotel, the study area lacks the ancillary services/facilities which are a key part of the family visitor experience. Some parts of the area are also comparatively impermeable for pedestrians – St James Boulevard is a significant barrier in this respect. 10.6.3 We are unaware of proposals to create further visitor attractions in the area and this should not be a focus for the City Council and its partners at this time given ongoing
10.5 Developing the knowledge economy
10.5.1 The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) licence creates a significant opportunity for the region to develop its role as a global participant in biomedical research, and the expansion of the
Reviewing potential locations for the Technopolis - ICFL’s preferred site in the Pottery Lane area is also under consideration as a potential location for the proposed Regional Convention Centre and a detailed appraisal of both
developments at the Hancock Museum and elsewhere in the City. In the medium-term, further research on the potential to establish further, education-oriented facilities to create a cluster of education/learning based attractions should be explored. 10.6.5 Research by KPMG suggests that the hotel market in Newcastle Gateshead is entering a period of modest over-supply. The number of hotel rooms in the area is projected to increase by almost 32% by 2008 whilst demand is expected to increase by only 25%. If all of the developments currently proposed come forward, this will create some spare capacity in the market. On this basis the visitor accommodation sector should not be a core element of the Discovery Quarter strategy in the short/medium-term although this position should be reviewed periodically. 10.6.6 Development of the area as a visitor destination should focus on improving pedestrian access and amenity, signage and encouraging an improved mix of family oriented cafés and restaurants as part of the area’s overall leisure provision. Planning/ licensing policies will play an important role in this respect. Evening economy 10.6.7 We support the view that the evening economy of the study area should be developed. However, consultation with a range of stakeholders highlights a desire for the area to avoid domination by ‘vertical drinking’
establishments, which have a high occupancy and can generate anti-social behaviour. 10.6.8 To achieve this, we recommend that nightclubs, takeaways and alcohol led venues are carefully limited in the area, and that the new powers in the Licensing Act 2003 are fully exploited. Where they are allowed powers should be used to set lower capacity limits for venues and for larger venues to be broken down into smaller, distinct parts making them safer and more manageable. 10.6.9 Community safety and frequent public transport will be key elements in creating a distinctive evening economy for the Discovery Quarter, particularly if a more family oriented product is to be developed. 10.6.10 Consideration should be given to ‘chill out’ extended hours – i.e. allowing operators to stay open after the limit of their liquor licenses, selling food and non-alcoholic drinks in a different atmosphere. This would have the effect of small numbers of people leaving over extended periods of time probably in a more sober state. 10.6.11 The area has developed an informal reputation as Newcastle’s gay quarter – without formal marketing or branding – although there has been a comparatively high turnover of new venues and some promoters are uncertain whether this market will prove sustainable. Research by US urbanist Richard Florida suggests that successful cities attract
and retain skilled and creative people through a range of factors, including their tolerance and openness. Manchester’s Canal Street area provides some evidence of this. However, careful consideration will be required in balancing the opportunities associated with this market and those of family visitors. Recommendation 4: 10.6.12 Newcastle City Council to commission further research on the potential costs and benefits of promoting the area as a gay quarter, drawing on best practice from other UK and European cities.
10.7.1 The regeneration of the Discovery Quarter will take 10-15 years to complete, based on current levels of market demand. The strategy identifies the potential to achieve the following development outputs over this period: • • • • • • Residential - 2,400 units Student Accommodation - 275 units (assuming 4-6 bed units) Office - 250,000 sq.m Light Industrial - 25,000 sq.m Leisure - 120,000 sq.m Hotel - 32,000 sq.m
Education - 6,000 sq.m Retail – 2,250 sq.m
development company: • Site assembly centred on the gateway site at Pottery Lane, encompassing a
station operator and Silverlink (total cost: £750,000). • Improving pedestrian facilities/amenity along St James Boulevard and as part of the current works to dual Scotswood Road (projected costs of up to £450,000 - assume a capital contribution from the City Council). • Creating a defined pedestrian route between the College and City Centre , potentially in partnership with Vico and/
10.7.2 This represents a substantial quantum of development – and private investment. Based on current prices, the Delivery Quarter could realise almost £1.1 billion of predominantly private investment over this period, creating more than 15,500 gross FTE jobs and more than 4,000 construction jobs. In comparison, this represents almost ten times the level of private investment levered into Grainger Town between 1996-2003.
programme of improvements to widen Pottery Lane, open up adjoining land for development, relocating various rail operating interests and creating a pedestrian (and potentially vehicular) link to Forth Street (total cost excluding acquisitions: £5.1 million). •
10.8 Priority interventions
10.8.1 A comparatively modest programme of public sector support will be required to realise these outcomes, facilitating limited site assembly/servicing, wider infrastructure improvements and public realm enhancements. The sub-area proposals identify a series of interventions – some publicsector led, others private – which are required to achieve the quality of place which will sustain development/investment values in the Discovery Quarter. 10.8.2 Building on current developer activity in the Quarter, the following projects should be pursued over the period 2005-2008 and should form the initial priorities for the proposed
Amenity improvements to the Forth Street railway tunnel (total cost £60,000) to encourage pedestrian movements within the area (in partnership with Network Rail and Silverlink through a section 106 agreement tied to its development proposals for the Stephenson Quarter). •
or other developers in the George Street ‘triangle’ as part of a future section 106 agreement (total cost: £450,000) Identify potential sites for SME office development and in particular explore the potential of the Stephenson’s Warehouse on Forth Banks to provide a conservation led office development for SMES (total estimated cost: £6million excluding land acquisition) 10.8.3 The Redheugh Bridgehead Junction improvements need to be undertaken to enable significant levels of development in this area to take place, particularly south of the junction itself. The Council approved a method of
Creating a new pedestrian bridge between Central Station and Forth Street, in partnership with GNER as
funding for the ‘hamburger’ junction in 2000, which assumed a cost of approximately £4million – with 60% funded from developer contributions and 40% from LTP. The alternative junction that we have proposed should be affordable within this budget. We have assumed that this funding is already earmarked and therefore have not included it within our calculations below. 10.8.4 The strategy further identifies some strategic public realm improvements, which should underpin the amenity of the various development proposals to which they relate. It is anticipated that the following schemes will be wholly or substantially funded by the private sector; they are likely to emerge within the 2005-2008 period although this is dependent on the timescales of the individual developments to which they relate: • • • Stephenson Quarter public square (Silverlink, £350,000) St James Metro Public Square (MGM/ NUFC - £1,000,000) Creation of a pedestrian link between St James and Gallowgate (£500,000) 10.8.5 The strategy also identifies medium/long term interventions that will be delivered beyond the 2005-2008 period, including:
Re-alignment of Skinnerburn Road along the waterfront to open up development sites in the western part of the Quarter and associated improvement/traffic calming works (£2,000,000 – potentially funded by a mix of public and private contributions).
operating interests – these remain comparatively modest in scale. These could be funded through public sector grant support or, in some circumstances, through commercial borrowing via the proposed development company. 10.9.3 The TyneWear Partnership has signalled its intention to commit £5 million of Single Programme resources towards implementation of the Discovery Quarter strategy over the 2005-2008 period. Whilst individual projects will require to be subject to full appraisal by the Partnership, Single Programme resources will provide an important catalyst to secure other capital funding sources. Single Programme funding could be utilised to support the development of SME accommodation. 10.9.4 One NorthEast should be a key participant in the regeneration of the Discovery Quarter via its regional Single Programme resources. Should Newcastle City Council commit to the development of the Regional Convention Centre – either on the Pottery Lane site, or elsewhere in the Quarter – then we anticipate that the RDA would provide significant capital support for the project. It is likely that up to 20% of the capital cost could be met by the public sector under current State Aid regulations. 10.9.5 The Newcastle Gateshead HMR Pathfinder can play a key role in delivering a stronger mix of family housing in the western
Creation of a linear park along Dunn Street connecting the area to the river (£1.000,000 – potentially funded by a mix of public and private contributions).
10.9 Funding Strategy
10.9.1 The private sector will be the predominant source of investment for the Discovery Quarter strategy. There is considerable developer interest in sites throughout the study area and evidence of continued demand across the housing, office and leisure sectors. There is considerable scope to achieve delivery of various key infrastructure/public realm projects through planning gain. 10.9.2 Whilst we have identified a series of key interventions that are unlikely to be achieved through the market – for example assembly of the Pottery Lane site and adjoining rail
part of the Discovery Quarter. The HMR can potentially support site assembly, infrastructure and amenity works as well as providing gap funding for developers. English Partnerships has a key role in funding the Sustainable Communities agenda and potentially in supporting major regional projects including the Regional Convention Centre. 10.9.6 The City Council has some important land assets in the area, which it should consider using proactively in support of the Discovery Quarter strategy. Disposals could generate capital receipts for reinvestment in medium/long-term projects in the area. 10.9.7 The strategy also identifies a series of projects designed to improve pedestrian accessibility and permeability within the study area, including improvements to Scotswood Road, St James Boulevard and Redheugh Bridgehead. The former could be incorporated into the contract for the current dualling works with some reprofiling of costs. The City Council should consider allocating resources from its capital programme to facilitate works to St James Boulevard and other projects, including elements of the proposed Redheugh Bridgehead junction. 10.9.8 Measure 3.1 of the ERDF programme is heavily over-subscribed and there is little prospect of securing resources in the period to December 2006, although some Discovery Quarter projects – particularly those to be taken forward utilising Single Programme
funding – will almost certainly be in a position to spend over this period. 10.9.9 Assuming that the Council is successful in securing a reasonable level of private sector contributions through planning gain, we believe that public expenditure in the order of £16.5 million over the next 3 years would be desirable to enable key acquisitions, infrastructure works, public realm improvements and an element of gap funding of development, to take place. 10.9.10 The table below presents an indicative public sector funding profile for the 2005-2008 period. It is important to stress that this is purely for illustrative purposes and does not reflect any commitment from the funding sources identified. Table 10.1 : Indicative public sector funding profile 2005-2008
2005/6 Single Programme (TWP) One NorthEast Newcastle Gateshead Pathfinder English Partnerships Newcastle City Council Total £300,000 £150,000 £100,000 £100,000 £100,000 £750,000
2006/7 £2,000,000 £2,000,000 £500,000 £500,000 £200,000 £5,200,000
2007/8 £2,700,000 £3,500,000 £1,500,000 £2,500,000 £350,000 £10,550,000
Total £5,000,000 £5,650,000 £2,100,000 £3,100,000 £650,000 £16,500,000
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