Name: Ismail M Qaznili Student ID: 2101173 Course: CELE Stage 3 (10 weeks) Future School: School of the Built Environment

Future Subject: MArch in Urban Design Number of Words: (3075) Permission given to use this essay as specified on the consent form

The Conservation of Historic Areas in British Cities: An Overview of Grainger Town in Newcastle

May 2008

Table of Contents
Acknowledgement ...................................................................................................................... Abstract ............................................................................................................................................. Introduction: ........................................................................................................................... - 1 1. City Centres: ...................................................................................................................... - 3 1.1. The Main Urban Issues of City Centres: .................................................................. - 3 1.2. The Countermeasures of Decentralisation:........................................................... - 4 -

2. Historic Areas Planning: ............................................................................................. - 6 2.1. Conservation V.S. Preservation: .................................................................................. - 6 2.2. The Planning Concept of Historic Areas: ................................................................ - 6 2.3. Planning and the Historic Environment: ................................................................. - 7 -

3. Case Study: Newcastle City Centre, Grainger Town: ................................ - 9 3.1. The Concept of Development: ....................................................................................... - 9 3.2. The Implementation of Policies and Strategies: .............................................. - 10 3.3. The Process Assessment: .............................................................................................. - 10 3.3.1 The Management and Regeneration Action ................................................................. - 11 3.3.2 The Tourism and Heritage Management ........................................................................ - 12 -

Conclusion: ............................................................................................................................. - 14 -

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Acknowledgement
I would like to thank CELE for giving me the opportunity to write this paper and special thanks for Mrs. Cora Lindsay for her support and guidance during the program period. Also I would like to thank my classmates for their support and participation in making this work complete.

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Abstract
This project will examine the issues regarding old city centres focusing on the decentralisation phenomenon by elaborating on the causes and effects of decentralisation and countermeasures which can be taken to treat it. After that, it will look at the literature of historic area planning. Finally, they will illustrate the aspects regarding historic city centres conservation developments plans in with specific reference to Grainger town in Newcastle UK.

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Introduction:
Many of the United Kingdom cities are quite old and ancient and the population is increasing, a report states that an increase of 1.5 million between 2001 to 2006 has been recorded and indicates it is the largest increase since 1960 (Office for National Statistics 2007). This increase in population requires more land spaces are needed to provide housing, facilities and streets to meet the needs of the population. Thus, replacing the old low quality areas is urgent. Local governmental officials concerned by city development - city planners sought to replace all the old parts regardless of their importance. Since, many of the UK cities are ancient. Replacing the old city is more like deleting the city’s history. Therefore, city planners started to call for saving and restoring these parts. This call took the forms of preserving and conserving the historic city centres (Culling worth and Nadin, 2006), though it was a great challenge. One of the most valuable old parts is the city centre which is the first to start decaying. The issues regarding old city centres are very delicate and complicated; one of the important issues is Decentralisation, which is the phenomenon of constant migration of economic work activities from city centres to other parts generating low income household, vacancies and abandoned buildings, which is driven by the increase of land prices and the trends of housing spread (Burayidi, 2001). It requires professional handling and treatment in order to allow it to integrate with the other newly formed parts. Many governmental and private bodies were established to take the responsibility for that. Their efforts were
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successful in saving many historic centres around the UK cities as in Grainger Town of Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK (Pickard, 2001). The aim of this essay is to address and describe the decentralisation phenomenon and its countermeasures. Secondly, give an over view on the aspects which need to be considered in developing historic areas especially in city centres. Finally, illustrating these parts with particular reference to Grainger Town in Newcastle by introducing the main issues related to the area, then by highlighting the adopted planning policies. Finally, by assessing the aspects of development to demonstrate to what extent it helped in countering the phenomenon of Decentralisation.

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1. City Centres:
As is well known, the city is a mixture of three main elements: physical structures such as buildings, facilities, infrastructure, and road networks; social structure such as the number of population, age groups, education level, household income; and lastly economic forces such as commerce and markets of various activities and services. These elements integrate together to create a living city. Any disturbance in the harmony between these elements will lead to negative urban phenomenon such as Decentralisation, Urban Decay and Urban Sprawl.

1.1. The Main Urban Issues of City Centres:
The issues can be classified in relation to the element generating them. As it has a negative effect on its respective element it is also affects the others driving them to generate side-effects. This essay will focus on the issues regarding the physical structure, and the issues regarding both social structure and economic forces will not be discussed but their influence on and by the physical structure will be pointed out. Decentralization is one of the critical issues that are being noticeable in modern cities around the world. The causes are related to directly to the social structure and the economic forces within the city. The significant increase in land-lot prices in the central area is discouraging and not appealing for commercial activates. Thus, it will force them to avoid and/or reallocate their location toward lower cost areas around the centre.
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The rapid growth of population generates demand for housing and since the centre is considerably costly for such projects, it tends to allocate low-cost area to achieve a level of affordability in congestion with low development cost (Burayidi, 2001). Noticeable impacts of Decentralization on a city are is the mismatch between workplaces and the low-income resident within the centre; taxes revenues significantly dropped due to the decrease of the population density; transportation fares extremely increased for the flight going and coming from other parts of the city to the centre, this will have a big negative influence on the workers living far away from their workplaces; basic amenities provision cost increased which led to a degrade in existing amenities networks (Burayidi, 2001).

1.2. The Countermeasures of Decentralisation:
In order to solve and prevent this phenomenon from occurring within the city centres, the historic value can be adopted to revitalize city centres and to stimulate the economics forces within to create a diversity of activities also to enhance the visual quality of it streets and building (Burayidi, 2001), by a set of factors that should be taken in consideration which are the preserving of architecture, Solving parking issues, and capital provisions by local authorities. As precautious procedures planners should avoid the zoning technique in allocating commercial activities and should adopt economic methods. Zoning is based on allocating commercial land uses without flexibility in considering the the improvement to finance and

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supply of activities to meet the demand trends of consumers thus creating a mismatch between them. As just Burayidi (2001) stated: "Supply dose not create its own demand. Rather, supply responds to latent demand, that is, demand not satisfied in the market place." (Burayidi, 2001: 230) The mismatch of demand and supply of commercial activities can be avoided by developing new areas to meet the excessive demand and to create a state of balance, to prevent increasing in rental rates of commercial lots within the city centre which causes small firms to close and prevent new small firms from entering the market, and to insure that commercial and economic activities will remain for extended period of time and to attract newly established firms (Burayidi, 2001). To summarize, decentralisation can be cured by reversing the process by eliminating the potential causes and to provide means necessary to extend the duration of the optimum status of the city centre.

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2. Historic Areas Planning:
2.1. Conservation V.S. Preservation:
There is a large debate about whether historic areas are becoming a liability to the future development of urban areas (Cullingworth, 2006). Therefore planners sought many approaches to consider them within

development plans through conservation methods to preserve the historic areas. However, this was a great challenge. Many debates rose about the inefficiency of this approach since it was misunderstood for preservation. There is an important difference between conservation and preservation. Conservation is applying elements of change and enhancement to the historic area, while preservation is maintaining the original condition of the historic area intact (Cullingworth, 2006). In his book Town and Country planning in the UK Cullingworth (2006) mentioned that: "Conservation is not backward looking… it stands in the vanguard of social and economic policy, capable of reversing decades of decay by injecting new life into familiar areas" (Cullingworth, 2006 : 231). This approach will help in countering the decentralisation phenomenon in historic city centres since it will help in the reversing the process.

2.2. The Planning Concept of Historic Areas:
One main concept of historic area planning is conservation for

sustainability, by recycling existing buildings and materials, and the use of

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local resources and diversity in the environment. Cullingworth (2006) argues that "The historic environment is a fine resource and should not be depleted". Historic areas and city centres are an important resource which should not be ignored or treated with carelessness. Planning authorities should consider the protection of historic places in their development plans by applying new land uses (here is for example whether the land is residential or commercial). In some situations this is a challenging matter because it usually raises issues of mismatch with surrounding new development plans. This leads to the need for formulating a set of strict policies for the implementation of new development within the area to eliminate the chances of land use mismatch. As Moughtin (2003) stated "Any design concept taken from the history… must be relevant for the present concern"

2.3. Planning and the Historic Environment:
Major legislations were passed in the 1940s. In 1953 a statutory protection supported by grants was provided for the owners of historic buildings (Pickard, 2001). In 1947 the main feature of statutory activity was the integration of urban planning and the historic built environment. This was extended in 1994 to Planning Policy Guidance: Planning and the Historic Environment (PPG 15). The role of planning policy guidance is to provide work guide lines for local authorities by local government to deal with issues regarding the allocation and development of land.

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The policy consists of two main aspects. The first is the conservation policies closely related to the planning process. The second is conservation policies less related to the planning process. These two create a balanced consideration of all the elements relevant to conservation. The policy covered the following elements: the protection of the local built heritage, the modification or addition to buildings, the demolition of hazardous buildings, façadism, the new developments within the area, and the demolition of new developments that could harm the areas. In the next section the impacts of implementation will be considered. It will focus on the efforts made by Newcastle's city council and the English Heritage Agency and to demonstrate how $a local authority and a national governmental agency co-operated to preserve the historic area.

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3. Case Study: Newcastle City Centre, Grainger Town:
Grainger Town is the centre and the northern part of the ancient city of Newcastle. Granger Town is more than 900 years old with an area of 36 hectares and contains 500 buildings 65 of them were risk of complete demolition because of their poor condition. The area is known for its medieval layout of markets and radial roads (Pickard, 2001). A study reported that about 1,7m Sqf2 of this area is abandoned, a mark of decentralisation phenomenon and it requires an urgent attention. The area has the potential of housing 7000 residents and providing job opportunities for 11,500 workers (Pickard, 2001). This was the signal for officials concerned with development to act immediately to treat the situation. By the year 1992 the Grainger Town Study initiated in order to countermeasure the situation.

3.1. The Concept of Development:
A set of three objectives were introduced in the report under the name of Grainger Town Study in 1992. The first was to identify the decay and erosion generators in the area. The second was to gather the required information about regeneration potentials that would help in creating integrated elements with the historic area conservation policies. The last was selecting appropriate and affordable solutions by the local authorities.

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3.2. The Implementation of Policies and Strategies:
The main theme adopted for development was regeneration via conservation-led strategies or other approaches. These aimed to bring several urban development factors together. These consist of seven main points about: firstly, the quality of environment to create an attractive environment for the public. Secondly, encouraging business development and enterprise by attracting new business and enhancing existing ones. Then housing by supplying affordable residential units to raise the population. After that, nonhousing development to create different activities of retail, offices, and recreation. Then access to employment opportunities by providing training to local population. Then, give the area a nature of Arts, culture, and a tourism centre. Finally, Management, marketing, and promotion of the area (Pickard, 2001). Although it appears that these do not resemble conservation but their outcomes serves the purpose efficiently. Because it deals with all the less related factors of the conservation process.

3.3. The Process Assessment:
A set of factors has been taken in consideration. These factors are: the management and regeneration action, and tourism and heritage management. These will be elaborated separately to show to what extent each has contributed to meet the objectives mentioned earlier.

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3.3.1 The Management and Regeneration Action This section will focus on the role of the national and local authorities and agencies, the nature and relationship of funding, the relationship between commercial and social needs, and the flexibility of using and reusing historic buildings. In regard to the role of national and local authorities and agencies played. In 1991, Newcastle City Council and English Heritage commenced a study on the northern part of the historic centre. The cooperation of local and national bodies co-operated to conserve historic areas in the UK. In addition many other agencies have joined the team later on from both the public and private sector such as: Northern Arts and Bowey Group (Pickard, 2001). All the bodies were different in nature and but their work roles were to develop the historical conservation development. As for the funding, the development project cost was £40m sponsored by five different agencies. Two of them were local. These were Newcastle City Council and Tyneside Training and Enterprise Council with a total of £2.25m. The other three were national. These were English Heritage, English Partners, and Single Regeneration Budget from the national government with a total of £37.75m, for the whole 6 years of the duration of the project (Pickard, 2001). As regards the relation between commercial and social needs. They avoided single use buildings and encouraged mixed use lower density housing. These were independent from the basic services which no longer exist in the city centre such as schools or hospitals. Yet that was faced by the unhappiness

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of some resident from the nature of the near by activities of leisure and commerce. The flexibility of using and reusing historic buildings was challenging. Developers used two typical methods in the beginning. The first was Facadism which is a method to replace old buildings with new ones but preserving the old façade. The second was maximum reversibility where all the required adaptation is placed to a cretin extent of time then removed. These two methods weren't efficient enough. Officials set out four guidelines based on pervious experience as solution. First, by considering the reasons behind the urgency of altering building uses. Second, the changes made on buildings should be relative to the architectural style. Thirdly, building uses should be appropriate buildings structure. Lastly, to maximise benefits from undesired and unavoidable alteration as much as possible.

3.3.2 The Tourism and Heritage Management This section will focus on the following areas which are the relationship between tourism and heritage management and the use of conservation property. The Council has implemented improvements on the cultural monuments within the area, some are complete and the rest are still in progress or as a future opportunity. These include the repair of Grey's Monument land mark, developing a tourism opportunity for both Blackfriars and the Castel (Pickard, 2001).

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Moreover, physical improvement to the environment were considered to make it tourist friendly and appealing by upgrading the historic buildings and market façades, using lighting schemes for the explored walkways and visited spaces, usage of artistic themes, and a full upgrade to the space around Grey's monument (Pickard, 2001). The council also applied many services for tourists in terms of new tourists' centres, teams of tour guides known as Newcastle Knights (Pickard, 2001) to provide guidance, and providing training programmes for shop clerks. The council used the power of publication by providing postcards hold pictures of the area, publishing of newsletters for both the locals and the tourists, maps for adults and children of most important locations.

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Conclusion:
The phenomenon of decentralisation is inevitable in every urban area especially the city centre. The causes are based on social and economic factors which have impacts on the physical environment of the area. Its impacts can be treated or reversed by eliminating all causes generators first and then by applying mechanisms to sustain the optimum state of the area. The Grainger Town project is a living example of decentralisation in a historic city centres. It has been treated efficiently by a co-operative effort of local and national authorities. The physical status of the area was poor and the social and economic values were lame. The City Council and the national bodies worked on aims to boost the area's status by restoring the old identity in ways of preserving old buildings, monuments, and streets. They

implemented new elements of modification for the buildings, and introduced current activities and functions in the area to cope with the current and future development plans, by providing new opportunities for housing, commerce, and most importantly tourism. In this way, they ensured an extended life span of prosperity to the area, the locals, and the tourists by rescuing 39 building from complete demolition and helped in reusing 50% of the rest and providing 7000 housing units and 11,000 job opportunities (Pickard, 2001). Thus, historic areas are proven to

hold great potentials for future development plans and as a tool to eliminate decentralisation.

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References:
Burayidi, M. (2001) Downtowns: Revitalizing the Centres of the Small Urban Communities. New York: Routledge,

Cullingworth, B. and Nadin, V. (2006) Town & Country Planning in the UK 14th edition. London: Routledge,

Moughtin, C. (2003) Urban Design: Methods and Techniques 2nd edition. Oxford: Elsevier,

Pickard, R. (2001) Management of historic centres. London: E & FN Spon,

Smith, C. (2007) Population Figures and Analysis for the United Kingdom. Hampshire: Office for National Statistics

Planning Policy Guidance 15: Planning and the historic environment. Published 14 September 1994 http://www.communities.gov.uk/publications/planningandbuilding/planni ngpolicyguidance8.

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