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Old October 20th, 2009, 08:25 PM   #1
kedos
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Cruddas Park / Riverside Dene - Redevelopment | Newcastle | Various | U/C

Cruddas Park Re-development . . .

I was driving past it in the rain today and at the lights (pulled over, engine off etc. if the police are reading this) I grabbed a quick photo to show the before and after...looks really good in my opinion - like the windows which stick out more and more as you go up the floors.



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Old October 20th, 2009, 08:52 PM   #2
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I had heard that they had run out on money for the Cruddas park flats redevelopment!Anyone confirm this?I hope not as its a massive improvement
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Old October 20th, 2009, 08:53 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kedos View Post
I was driving past it in the rain today and at the lights (pulled over, engine off etc. if the police are reading this) I grabbed a quick photo to show the before and after...looks really good in my opinion - like the windows which stick out more and more as you go up the floors.



(ok its not the best shot but you get the idea!!).
Thanks for that mate! It really shows up how bad a state the towers got in when you see them alongside the refurbished one.
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Old October 20th, 2009, 10:41 PM   #4
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I had heard that they had run out on money for the Cruddas park flats redevelopment!Anyone confirm this?I hope not as its a massive improvement
I've heard similar...I think its because the builder has realised that this many new flats (either to rent/sell) are not really sustainable in the "current market"...I would imagine they'd be happier demolishing a couple of the blocks and putting some houses in instead...!
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Old October 21st, 2009, 09:46 PM   #5
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They do look good indeed. I heard that a private developer had been given some council money to refurbish them and so two were done but that the other 6 weren't going to get done at the current time. They do look really good on the website mind.

Anyone got any experience of the current towers or area? Is it pretty rough, cause location wise it's not too bad for town/college/river views etc.

I can see them from my work at Saltwell Park too.
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Old October 31st, 2009, 08:33 PM   #6
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Very bad news regarding the Cruddas Street Flats Project . .

http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/north...2703-25059291/

Builders pull out of Tyneside redevelopment scheme
Oct 31 2009 by Amy Hunt, Evening Chronicle



THE future of some of Tyneside's best-known housing blocks hangs in the balance after builders pulled out of a redevelopment scheme. Gentoo and Bellway have backed away from renovating tower blocks at Riverside Dene, formerly known as Cruddas Park, because of the recession. As the first three blocks emerge from behind scaffolding with a new look, the future of the other seven high-rises is in jeopardy.

It is thought at least one of the blocks is likely to be demolished as cash runs dry.

Six months ago the estate was “re-branded” and renamed at a cost of £45,000 as part of the £90m renovation of the scheme. The aim was to transform not only the physical appearance of the area but also the aspirations of people who live there. Work has been going on to revamp three of the 1960s-built blocks inside and out with the aim to provide them to rent through Your Homes Newcastle. But the fourth block earmarked for refurbishment for private sale is standing empty and work cannot now start on it, or any of the other blocks, because the partners have backed out.

Of the 10 blocks at Riverside Dene due for renovation as part of the six-year project which also involves Bridging NewcastleGateshead, Centre West and contractor Wates Living Space, five were to be available for rent and five for sale.

An agreement made between the public and private partners meant Newcastle City Council would kick off the refurbishment, to tidy up the outside of the buildings and modernise the flats inside, with Gentoo and Bellway picking up the bill. But because of the recession and the property market crash, the developer is now not able to raise the cash needed and the council does not want to take the risk of starting the work and finding itself counting the cost.

Councillors gave the go-ahead for emergency talks to try to rescue the project back in July, but deadlines came and went without the partners committing. Council bosses say they are considering all their options in relation to Riverside Dene. Phil Joyce, director of area based regeneration at Newcastle City Council, said: “The first three social blocks, which will be managed by Your Homes Newcastle, are on schedule for completion next year, and many residents have pre-selected their new apartments.

“Our plan was for the next blocks to be redeveloped as private apartments, before the recession hit market confidence and made it impossible for first-time buyers to get mortgages. All the partners have had to rethink the next phase and the Council’s executive has asked for a thorough study of the options for the rest of the blocks.

“We are on schedule to report back on a shortlist of costed options in the next two to three months. In the current economic climate, Gentoo and Bellway are not able to take the significant financial risk involved at this stage, so we are looking at alternative options with a view to renewing a fourth block as early as possible. “Our partners have helped us to bring substantial funding into the city, and were instrumental in developing the new look for the blocks.

“We continue to work with them on designs for the estate, as well as the nearby Loadman Street development, and they may still have a major role to play in the future. “Our key aim is to ensure a sustainable future for Riverside Dene, with good quality shopping facilities and services.”

The private partners said they did not want to comment.

Built in the 1960s, the high rises of Cruddas Park, famously used in the BBC series Our Friends in the North, were part of council leader T Dan Smith’s grand plan for a “city in the sky”.

In July housing minister John Healey announced £1.7m of Government funding for a biomass wood-burning heating system at Riverside Dene, to trim residents’ fuel bills and help tackle climate change and work is going on to choose a contractor for the scheme.
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Old October 31st, 2009, 10:15 PM   #7
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This is obviously disappointing and seems to be down to the lack of confidence the developers have in selling the units at the necessary values to recoup their costs. I hope a way forward can be found - something needs to be done to help transform the area and extend regeneration westwards.

The scheme was ambitious but made sense at a time when there was a rising market and there were a lot of young couples, professional singles etc looking for an apartment close to town but at more affordable prices. The flats in these blocks are generously proportioned and are significantly bigger than you'd get in some of the city centre shoeboxes.

Given rising demand for council housing it is of course possible that these can be re-let, but they could still benefit from a refurb. The city has a reasonable amount of "capacity" for two bed tower block flats (there has been a long term policy that they are not appropriate for families / children) and the greatest demand and shortest supply is for 3 bed family homes - which makes it even more ironic the previous council demolished thousands of them "because no-one wanted them".
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Old November 2nd, 2009, 07:24 PM   #8
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Terrible news about the towers. Would hate to see them pulled down.
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Old February 16th, 2010, 02:42 PM   #9
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More money to redevelop Newcastle tower blocks
Feb 16 2010 by Amy Hunt, Evening Chronicle



More taxpayers' money has been put forward to shore up the renovation of an iconic estate.

Council bosses hope extra cash will secure the future of half the tower blocks at Riverside Dene, Newcastle, which used to be known as Cruddas Park.

But a question mark still hangs over five of the 10 high-rises which, in the 1960s, were part of T Dan Smith’s vision for a “city in the sky” featured in the TV series Our Friends In The North.

The £90m scheme to refurbish all the tower blocks and bring them up to modern standards was thrown into jeopardy when private firms Bellway and Gentoo pulled out.

The original idea had been for Newcastle City Council, along with Your Homes Newcastle (YHN), to kick-off the scheme to give all 10 blocks a facelift by renovating three for rent through YHN.

A deal with the private firms to do up five of the blocks for sale would then provide extra cash to take forward the refurbishment of the remaining two blocks for rent.

But due to the recession, the private firms did not want to commit to the project, and they backed off, leaving the estate in limbo.

In December, we reported how there was a £4.6m funding gap in relation to the fourth and fifth blocks.

As work on the first three blocks nears completion, the city council’s ruling executive has approved a “financial package” which will allow two more of the high-rises to be developed for rent and sale by YHN and Bridging NewcastleGateshead.

The future of the other five blocks is still being considered by regeneration chiefs, with demolition of one or more one of the options on the table.

But council bosses are keen to keep the project moving to allow people to move back into the vacated blocks.

Phil Joyce, director of area based regeneration at the city council, said: “There’s no mistaking the changes at Riverside Dene and this is another big leap forward.

“The global recession and the recent drop in the housing market meant it was important to review our options going forward, but the partnership has reasserted its commitment to the area and shown resilience in the face of some fresh challenges.” John Lee, chief executive of YHN, said: “YHN are keen to get started as early as possible on the next two blocks and build on the scheme’s momentum, while continuing to develop proposals for later phases of the scheme.

“This will demonstrate our continued commitment to our tenants, and I’m sure this will be an exciting time for all concerned.”

Residents will be invited to view completed apartments in The Sycamores over the first weekend in May, before the first tenants begin to return from May 14.

Work has also started on a £1.7m biomass heating system to help provide heat and hot water to the refurbished blocks.

In April 2009, Cruddas Park was “re-branded” and renamed at a cost of £45,000.
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Old February 16th, 2010, 02:46 PM   #10
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^i went past there a couple of days ago and there seems to be scaffolding going up on the tower block closest to scotswood road.
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Old February 16th, 2010, 08:12 PM   #11
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The cedars is the next block to be upgraded,has been "evacuated" lately.
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Old February 16th, 2010, 08:15 PM   #12
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It's a shame they can't get the money to do all of the blocks up the same. They look quite decent.
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Old February 16th, 2010, 08:42 PM   #13
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I can`t honestly see the point of wasting £45,000 on rebranding Cruddas park as Riverside Dene, it will always be known as Cruddas Park.I`m sure the money could have been reallocted more wisely elsewhere.
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Old March 18th, 2010, 04:51 PM   #14
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Was getting my car serviced along Scotswood Road today, and took these photos of the Cruddas Park flats that are being renovated.

Doesn't seem to have been all that much progress lately, it seems?



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Old March 18th, 2010, 11:27 PM   #15
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the scaffolding is going up on the block closest to scotswood road so that's a bit of progress.i am interested to see what the layout will be like at the base of the towers - being plonked in acres of open land was a mistake so i wonder how this will be rectified.
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Old March 18th, 2010, 11:31 PM   #16
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I think that is an amazing transformation. I thought those buildings were beyond redemption but that is a very stylish renovation. I hope those refreshed blocks can act as regeneration catalyst for the rest of Crudas (River Dean). Topographically on the Tyne Gorge and location next to town are massive plus points; I hope the council can get some more private sector interest to finish the last 5 or 6. Good Job!
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Old March 19th, 2010, 10:40 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edwardsr View Post
I think that is an amazing transformation. I thought those buildings were beyond redemption but that is a very stylish renovation. I hope those refreshed blocks can act as regeneration catalyst for the rest of Crudas (River Dean). Topographically on the Tyne Gorge and location next to town are massive plus points; I hope the council can get some more private sector interest to finish the last 5 or 6. Good Job!
I agree, what a contrast between "old and new" (I thought the 'old' appearence was with us forever . . or demolition!).

The refurbished block in this photo from yesterday, looks really quite 'classy' in my opinion!

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Old March 19th, 2010, 02:57 PM   #18
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I've always thought that Cruddas Park is potentially a great place to live, given how close it is to town and the outstanding views from the upper floors.

I find it strange to think that those types of tower block are now 50 years old or more.
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Old March 19th, 2010, 06:35 PM   #19
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I'm impressed with them refurbished blocks, I hope they manage to get all of them done up in the same way.
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 02:48 PM   #20
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New Cruddas Park homes are a towering success
May 3 2010 by Liz Walker, Evening Chronicle



AN ICONIC feature on the skyline, they have towered over Newcastle’s West End for over 40 years.

But it’s the beginning of a new era for the former Cruddas Park “city in the sky” after the first residents took a long-awaited peek inside their new homes in the rebranded Riverside Dene.

And there was an all-round thumbs up from members of the first tour who were impressed with the multi-million pound transformation of the first of the blocks from crumbling eyesore to a shining example of modern living.

“I’m pretty chuffed,” said Paul Struthers, 37, who will soon be moving in to the new Sycamores flats.



“The old blocks are like prisons, but this wouldn’t look out of place in somewhere like Jesmond.”


REST OF ARTICLE HERE - http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/north...2703-26367364/
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