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Old March 18th, 2010, 07:13 PM   #41
AngerOfTheNorth
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Totally agree Chatton - although at least urban designers have some idea of the design process. It's the fact that planners aren't given any architectural training whatsoever and are then given the job of telling architects whether their architecture is good enough that I find bizarre.

My assumption is that the lack of training results in planners simply not feeling confident to comment on design, so they simply fail to hold developers to task on design grounds.
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Old March 18th, 2010, 11:43 PM   #42
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not quite gateshead town centre, but this development in bensham which was mentioned in the past, is now externally complete and looks pretty good -




i remember tcollins said he lived round the corner from this - any impressions on the development?
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Old March 31st, 2010, 06:57 PM   #43
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Old March 31st, 2010, 08:43 PM   #44
AngerOfTheNorth
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I actually don't think that hurrying things will do any good. If Gateshead Council feel under pressure to deliver something quicker than they plan to, it will only result in a poorer final result.
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Old April 1st, 2010, 09:32 PM   #45
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Bensham town houses

Johnnypd, I have just noticed your reference to the development of town houses in Bensham which are just around the corner from me too. The artist's impressions do look really good but in reality the project is still not complete. I drove past tonight and there is still some scaffolding up and the entrance is barred by temporary gates so nobody has moved in. They do look nice but not as nice as the pictures and the asking price of £180,000 + for the area seems a bit steep. They are built on the edge of an existing council estate and on one of the busiest junctions in Gateshead. The views leave a lot to be desired. I don't envy anyone the task of getting across three lanes of traffic in the rush hour if they are heading to the town centre. I would have taken a picture but it is impossible to stop on that stretch of road without causing massive road rage. I will try to walk round over the weekend and get a shot.
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Old April 2nd, 2010, 01:27 PM   #46
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Some photos would be great Alf. I have to say I'm not a huge fan of any form of pastiche architecture, but if you're going for something "old fashioned" the ones in the images aren't bad - at least they look to have been done properly. However as you say, the reality isn't always the same as what is proposed in the renderings.

Either way, it's good to see investment and confidence in the Bensham area.
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Old April 2nd, 2010, 01:35 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alf stone View Post
Johnnypd, I have just noticed your reference to the development of town houses in Bensham which are just around the corner from me too. The artist's impressions do look really good but in reality the project is still not complete. I drove past tonight and there is still some scaffolding up and the entrance is barred by temporary gates so nobody has moved in. They do look nice but not as nice as the pictures and the asking price of £180,000 + for the area seems a bit steep. They are built on the edge of an existing council estate and on one of the busiest junctions in Gateshead. The views leave a lot to be desired. I don't envy anyone the task of getting across three lanes of traffic in the rush hour if they are heading to the town centre. I would have taken a picture but it is impossible to stop on that stretch of road without causing massive road rage. I will try to walk round over the weekend and get a shot.
thanks for the info alf. yes the courtyard areas are still a mess and fences are still up so not complete, but i think the buildings are externally finished. for some reason i thought the bricks looked a shade lighter than the ones in the image above.

also, the end terraced house next to this has great bas relief detailing, so if you can try and get a pic of that.
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Old April 5th, 2010, 07:49 PM   #48
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Bensham town houses

I must apologise in advance for the quality and quantity of the following pictures. I had a total technology fail. I checked my camera before leaving the house and it was dead. So armed only with my trusty mobile phone I set off in the rain. After the shots below the battery died without any warning. It normally bleeps irritatingly for ages before it cuts off.

I'm afraid the bas-relief may be a trick of the eye or the light and close up it just look like a mess of brickwork and stone:



Before I worked out that to get the same angle as Johnnypd's first picture I would either have to clamber up on a wall or trespass on some private property, I managed to get a couple of test shots.






Here is one I took earlier during the construction phase. I was fascinated by the faux chimney apparently balanced on the roof beams.



At the weekend I had a look at the same area on Google Street View. I travelled up Bensham Road to find the houses under construction then moving further up there was the Five Wand pub - which was demolished to make way for the houses. Quite a trick that?
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Old April 5th, 2010, 08:01 PM   #49
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Thanks for ther pics Alf, it does seem they went with a lighter shade of brick.

though the bas reliefs are on the front of that house between the bay windows, not the side! it also has corinthian pillars round the bay windows too, quite interesting for a normal terraced house.
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Old April 6th, 2010, 12:36 AM   #50
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Perhaps it wasn't technology that let me down today but my brain. I completely misunderstood your comment about the bas-relief. I remember the three panels between the upper and lower bay windows but they are so dirty that it is difficult to tell what they represent. I will try to have a closer look and see if I can get a decent photograph of them.
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Old April 6th, 2010, 02:51 PM   #51
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I live just around the corner from that new development too, and it bugs me that the roof and wall materials are completely different to anything else around. I know that developers want their site to look more distinctive than those around them, but surely it's not unreasonable to ask for facing materials to match those around them. It's far from being a conservation area or anything, but even so I think that matching materials is hardly an onerous request.

As for the houses themselves, the gardens are really quite small, and the ones on the west of the site (the third of Alf Stone's pictures) are trapped between the three storey townhouse and a large retaining wall, so will be quite dark I imagine. However, as I don't (and won't) live there, that's not my problem, and quite frankly it's a massive improvement on the Five Wands pub which was there before! I agree with the asking price being a bit much too, and the comments about their location next to that junction and potential access issues for the residents.
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Old April 6th, 2010, 03:29 PM   #52
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Well, unbeknownst to me it would appear that I have two logins for this site, and at some point clearly moved from one to the other without knowing it!
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Old April 26th, 2010, 02:32 PM   #53
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Tesco to develop 'own brand' Living & Leisure Villages
TimesOnline, 26 April 2010

LINK - http://property.timesonline.co.uk/to...cle7107912.ece

Tesco already provides everything you need to stock a home, from groceries to garden furniture. Now it is going to build the house as well.

The supermarket chain plans to develop four “mini-villages” in the South East along with “mixed-use living and leisure” schemes in Ipswich and northeast England.

The schemes feature scores of homes, all near a Tesco store.

Tesco is taking advantage of traditional housebuilders’ failure to raise money from banks. Developers have been forced to build smaller schemes than envisaged to avoid the need for large infrastructure investments.

Critics said that the competition and regulatory authorities needed to investigate Tesco’s tightening grip on the economy in order to avoid the development of monopolies.

Josh Ryan-Collins, of the New Economics Foundation, said: “There’s a sense that they are using their market power to dominate aspects of the economy. There is a need for more affordable housing but there is a danger with Tesco’s moves. “If they provide the mortgage, if they act as estate agent, if they provide a credit card, if they sell you a house, they will end up with more personal information about you than the Government.”

Mini-villages are due to be built in Bromley-by-Bow, East London, Dartford, Kent, Streatham, in South London, and Woolwich, southeast London. Tesco’s diversifying plans, first mooted before the credit crunch, received a boost last month when Lambeth Council gave the go-ahead for it to build 200 homes, a bus depot and ice rink in Streatham.

Spen Hill, the supermarket’s development arm, is also introducing the “mixed-use” model of leisure, shopping and living facilities to other areas.

Tesco is in talks with councils in Gateshead and Sunderland about bringing this model to the North East. Since 2007, Tesco has planned to redevelop a site in Gateshead known as the Get Carter car park because it featured in the 1971 Michael Caine film of the same name.

It is understood that Tesco is less likely to pursue joint ventures with its latest schemes than in the past, but will use contractors for the building work. It says that the plans will create 1,000 jobs.

Alastair Crowdy, head of planning at GL Hearn, a property consultancy, said that Tesco was in an uniquely powerful position. “It is in a good position to develop because it is a very strong covenant and a very strong brand, whereas other developers may struggle to get finance,” he said.

“If a development comes with a store, then it is easier to get funding. People have been living above stores for years. It works in other locations.”

A Tesco spokesman said: “Through innovative mixed-use developments such as these proposed, we are able to invest and create jobs in areas that many other developers cannot and will not.”
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Old April 26th, 2010, 06:51 PM   #54
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Interesting article. As long as there are controls in place I don't have a major problem with them building houses. I hope they don't intend this for the very centre of Gateshead although just outside would be fine. Flats would work in the town centre I suppose.
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Old April 27th, 2010, 01:27 AM   #55
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Good link NH. Though to be honest it's not really that new, as Tesco are well know for doing mixed use development (including residential) as part of regeneration schemes via their Spenhill regeneration arm. As well as the Gateshead town centre site they are doing somthing similar at Hebburn. It seems as though they are using their mixed-use development proposals as a template and rebranding/expanding it.
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Old April 27th, 2010, 10:26 AM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deebex View Post
Good link NH. Though to be honest it's not really that new, as Tesco are well know for doing mixed use development (including residential) as part of regeneration schemes via their Spenhill regeneration arm. As well as the Gateshead town centre site they are doing somthing similar at Hebburn. It seems as though they are using their mixed-use development proposals as a template and rebranding/expanding it.

Yes, it would be good to just see some progress being made!
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Old April 27th, 2010, 02:39 PM   #57
AngerOfTheNorth
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What a frightening idea - a town/village where the houses are sold/rented by Tesco, the town centre gives you the choice of shopping at Tesco, banking with Tesco, buying your clothes from Tesco etc...

Still, Tesco would never create a closed market and then put the prices up, would they..?
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Old April 27th, 2010, 05:44 PM   #58
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Tesco is a good friend of the labour government. Any other company would not have been allowed to get away with the way in which they behave. Very anti-competitive.

How the hell do we have two Tescos within a 5 minute walk in Newcastle? When Morrisons took over Safeway they had to sell the Heaton branch due to the proximity of the Byker branch. Now Tesco are opening all over the bloody shop and they get nothing but praise from the govt.
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Old April 27th, 2010, 06:21 PM   #59
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I don't know if anyone signed up to the Trinity Square petition a while ago but I did and got an interesting circular yesterday about progress on the project:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Hindle
Thank you for adding your name to the petition calling on Tesco to get a move on with Trinity Square .



This campaign started a few weeks ago, at first just as an on-line campaign with the website and emailing some people about it. Since then word has spread, and the Evening Chronicle had an article in the ‘Chronicle extra’ and in the last 2 or 3 weeks the petition and website at www.ourtrinitysqure.org.uk have been widely promoted in a range of leaflets across Gateshead .



People continue to sign up at the website or return petition forms from leaflets. Many people have left comments in support of this campaign – I don’t think anyone has yet disagreed with what we are doing.



I have had discussions with the Council’s Chief Executive and other senior officials. The good news was that at last month’s board meeting, Tesco were still interested in the scheme – but discussions between Tesco and the Council seem to be continuing very slowly, and it is clear that there is still some way to go.



I haven’t yet approached Tesco’s head office about this campaign. I plan to do so, but it would be good to have more people backing it first. While they say “every little helps”, when it comes to talking to Tesco, I think size really will matter!



So please get your friends and neighbours to join the petition – you can download a paper copy of the petition from the website, and please feel free to forward this email to anyone you think might be interested. (Last week we had some problems with the web site, but it has been rebuilt and moved to a new server, so should be working better now).



Do please remember that this campaign is about *encouraging* Tesco and the Council to get the Town Centre scheme underway. It would be easy to go negative and criticise them, but this is a positive campaign, to persuade them to take positive steps. We don’t want Tesco to walk away from the scheme, so please keep a positive tone.



Finally, if you are wondering if this campaign is just part of the election razzmatazz, I would like to reassure that it is not the case. Yes, it is true that I am the Liberal Democrat candidate for Gateshead (and yes, I hope you will consider voting for me) but I can assure you that, whatever the election result, I will still be living in, and caring about, Gateshead . Unless the car park has been demolished, this campaign to get something done about it will be continuing, and if necessary we will be taking steps in the coming weeks to further increase the tempo of the campaign.



With best wishes, and thank you again for your support for this campaign.



Frank

----------------------------

Frank Hindle



Tel: 0191 487 9179

17 Cedar Crescent

Low Fell

Gateshead

NE9 6ER



www.frankhindle.org.uk

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Old April 27th, 2010, 09:46 PM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toonlad View Post
Tesco is a good friend of the labour government. Any other company would not have been allowed to get away with the way in which they behave. Very anti-competitive.

How the hell do we have two Tescos within a 5 minute walk in Newcastle? When Morrisons took over Safeway they had to sell the Heaton branch due to the proximity of the Byker branch. Now Tesco are opening all over the bloody shop and they get nothing but praise from the govt.
Is it not to do with the fact that the two tesco's (well 3 if you include the quayside) are diiferent in size- the new one on Clayton Street is a 'proper' supermarket where you can do a full shop and the other two in the city centre are more like corner shops or a newsagent where you buy a loaf of bread or a newspaper. Didnt Morrison decide to close their store in Heaton because they could have thought they would be simply paying the overheads for two sites and halving the custom between the two. I dont think I feel comfortable for a planning dept or government making a supermarket or cinema close a store (many keep saying in here the odeon HAD to leave the gate cos it had one in the silverlink and metro centre- it might just wanted out of the gate cos its shit really and puts people off by having to pay over the head to park). In a free market surely if tesco or morrison can support two supermarkets that are already built then thats up to them. Its different if a totally new supermarket is to be built and will effect current traders (West Rd and Tesco is an example)- the planners come in and stop it. I mean you don't see it being stopped that H&M has two stores in spitting distance of each other in the city centre. And Waterstones used to have two facing each other or Nando's or starbucks being all over? Whats the difference?
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