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CPRE would like us to build on all brownfield sites, in preference to the greenbelt, but won't acknowledge how badly contaminated many of them are. There is a figure for the heavy metals that is the limit for home construction. So many parts per million of toxin Y and you can't build there. I know the number for lead and I know that it is simply ignored or bypassed. If it were strictly followed there would no new build homes in most English cities. Full stop.

Browns Foundry Yard is irregularly polluted by the mineral salts that are added to the molten iron mix, such as Manganese, Vanadium and Chromium. This is entirely hearsay and I should need to watch the sampling taking place to have trust in any purported figures. The unusual pioneer vegetation on this site indicates disturbed soil chemistry - the ground is certainly quite acidic and nutrient poor.

Below about 1g/kg soil dry matter lead acts as a fertiliser. (Technically a soil conditioner - the plants 'read' it as calcium). This is why the Ouseburn looks so glorious in June. Above a certain level of soil lead then seed germination is slowed or stopped and it is very noticeable that at Calders Yard the ground is still bare ten years after the buildings were cleared. Without the dreadful contamination it should now be thriving pioneer woodland (like Browns). Perhaps the greatest risk will be to the groundworkers on the site and to the builders as when the people move into the flats, or whatever, the bare contaminated ground will mostly be covered over and so made safe. There will be talk of 'remediation' but, short of paring the ground back to boulder clay what can they do? (BS, is what they *will* do).

Sadly, Global Warming appears to be runaway - exponential - and it certainly appears this way in the Arctic. The endpoint of that is Mars and there's a correct term for the process (it's not Marsification). It's quite disturbing already and I dread to think what will happen when this view is accepted widely.
We will never move to Mars, living to a 28 rather than 24 hour cycle has been proven to descend us into madness. It seems we are stuck with the planet we have got. Even if we invented the starship enterprise, the second we beam onto an alien planet with any form of equivalent life its instant death from entirely unfamiliar viral and bacterial strains.

I reject your nihilist view. We have to keep trying.
 

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Forth Banks Area - THREADS RE-ORGANISED

The below detailed work has now been completed.

The effect on THIS thread has been to 'copy' some posts, and to 'move' some other posts, into this newly re-named thread, from the existing "Forth Banks - Developments" thread.

OK, it is "quite complex" in this large area of the City Centre immediately to the west of Central Station, but off we go . . .

This is the area in question:


IMAGE courtesy of Ken O'Heed.

We currently have FOUR live Project Threads as well as ONE Area Developments Thread covering this 'wider' Forth Banks Area. The structure of these threads has evolved over the years quite naturally, and has done a good job, but now needs some amendment, as things have moved on.

List of current threads . . .

4 X PROJECT THREADS:

Calders Yard | Newcastle | Various - 4 Fl to 9 Fl | Dormant
https://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=983200

Heliport Site | Newcastle | Various | Proposed
https://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1791860

Forth Banks/Pottery Lane - 'Moorfield' and 'The Forge' Residential Developments | Newcastle | 7/9 Fl x 3 | Part Completed
https://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1805907

Central Station Redevelopment | Newcastle | Various | U/C
https://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1600715

1 X DEVELOPMENTS THREAD:

The Historic FORTH BANKS GOODS YARD and SOUTH OF POTTERY LANE Area - Discussions & Developments
https://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1893872

NOW,

The way we work on this forum is that we have 'Area Developments Threads', and when one or more developments on that thread becomes a large and definite "Project", it ceases to be discussed on the Developments Thread, and is given a Project Thread of its own. This is our way on this forum, and also fulfills SSCs preferred style of INDIVIDUALLY TITLED Project Threads.

This situation, though complex, should be treated in the same way, and so the "Forth Banks Goods Yard and South of Pottery Lane Area" Developments Thread has done a good job, and will continue onward as it now is. It is likely though (after the below detailed Project Threads re-structuring to include the 'emerging new projects') it will have far less discussion taking place on it from now on.

PROPOSALS . . .

(I am writing all of these as 'proposals' for discussion, rather than just making the changes, due to the high level of member-interest in these Forth Banks Area Threads)

(1) The Forth Banks Developments Thread to continue, for the reasons stated above.

A number of recent 'specific project-related' posts will be moved out into the appropriate Project Thread, as will be discussed below.

(2) The current Forth Banks 'Residential' (Forge & Moorfields) Project Thread, will be re-titled to include the newly proposed 525 apartments at Pottery Lane (former 'CEMEX Works Site'?). Relevant posts will be moved to the Project Thread from the Developments Thread, and the new title could be . . .

Forth Banks/Pottery Lane ('Moorfield', 'Forge' and 'former Cemex Site') RESIDENTIAL FLATS | Newcastle | Various | Proposed
https://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1805907


(3) The current Calders Yard Project Thread, will be re-titled to include ALL of that area (immediately outside of the above detailed 'residential flats' area) that is just to the west of Redheugh Bridge. That area is the Calders Yard, Heliport, and Newcastle Arena area. Now, the Arena is currently NOT under re-development, but it is likely to eventually be so, so it seems sensible to include it within the re-vamped Project Thread Title, so that the location of future forum discussions about it becomes well known.

The new 'Calders Project Thread' title could be . . .

Calders Yard Site, Heliport Site, Newcastle Arena future Site | Newcastle | Various | Proposed
https://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=983200


Relevant posts will be re-located to the re-named Project Thread from the Developments Thread and the (now) superfluous "Heliport Project Thread" will be closed (deleted) and all posts moved to the re-named Calders yard Project Thread.

(4) The (described as) 'North of Pottery Lane' proposals consist of (unless I am mistaken?) the car-parking etc plans related to the refurbishment/modernisation of Central Station, and so should be included on the "Central Station Redevelopment Project Thread". That thread could usefully perhaps be slightly re-titled as . . .

Central Station Redevelopment (and Area West of Central Station) | Newcastle | Various | U/C
https://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1600715


SO . . .

I have included in the above set of proposals my own thoughts plus the many and various thoughts from Ken O'Heed, prostu2, and No Opinion.

I'm sure these proposals are not perfect (today is the first chance I have had chance to study the situation closely) but hopefully they are a 'start'.

Comments please !!

.
 

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More than 500 flats on land between the Redheugh and King Edward VII bridges, overlooking River Tyne set to be approved – despite 'slums of the future' fears

Chronicle Live website article from 14/09/20

EXTRACT

More than 500 flats overlooking River Tyne set to be approved – despite 'slums of the future' fears

City councillors could give their backing this week to plans for two massive riverside apartment blocks on derelict land between the Redheugh and King Edward VII bridges

Developers NAAVA and Strawson Holdings say that the U-shaped blocks, which would contain 525 apartments, would act as a “regeneration catalyst” for the Pottery Lane and Forth Yards area.

However, opponents of the project have claimed that the “uninspiring” buildings fail to take advantage of their stunning location.

Ahead of the proposals coming before Newcastle City Council’s planning committee on Friday, the heritage organisation the Northumberland and Newcastle Society said the design “lacks humanity”.


Full article on 500 new flats overlooking River Tyne set to be approved

KEN
 

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Jesus they are bad. Newcastle really does have some of the worst proposals you can get. If you look on the Nottingham forum , a city of that level of significance has some really well thought out developments, never mind the bigger cities. This is a really good site in its topography and proximity to the CBD-why so awful -it’s like Hyde Park flats in Sheffield from the last century?
 

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The CGI in the Chronicle might not be the best example to look at, but neither is the current wasteland. Many jobs will be created, whilst corona has shattered many livelihoods. It is impossible to keep everyone happy and impossible to design something without complaints.
Screen Shot 2020-09-14 at 23.24.53.png
 

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The architecture appears all very restrained and reasonable- too reasonable as some may say.

I think the problem with this scheme is economic more than anything else.

It would be much better if there was a mix of things going on, not just endless residential units where everyone hides away. Some bars, or offices, or creative whatnot would give it some life. But then again, it would probably only suck life away from another office/creative/retail/leisure are of Newcastle, so its a bit catch 22.

The entire Forth area suffers from a lack of oversight by NCC, the land just gets broken up into separate development parcels and each developer puts in the best of what their spreadsheet tells them, less planning negotiation, so everything becomes less than the sum of it's parts. If NCC had a grander vision for a true regeneration and thought about how to open up the historic railway features, included some heritage, better links and access to the centre etc. then each parcel would come forward contributing to one singular vision of an actual interesting extension of the city centre, rather than just a branding exercise and monolithic apartments.
 

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The architecture appears all very restrained and reasonable- too reasonable as some may say.

I think the problem with this scheme is economic more than anything else.

It would be much better if there was a mix of things going on, not just endless residential units where everyone hides away. Some bars, or offices, or creative whatnot would give it some life. But then again, it would probably only suck life away from another office/creative/retail/leisure are of Newcastle, so its a bit catch 22.

The entire Forth area suffers from a lack of oversight by NCC, the land just gets broken up into separate development parcels and each developer puts in the best of what their spreadsheet tells them, less planning negotiation, so everything becomes less than the sum of it's parts. If NCC had a grander vision for a true regeneration and thought about how to open up the historic railway features, included some heritage, better links and access to the centre etc. then each parcel would come forward contributing to one singular vision of an actual interesting extension of the city centre, rather than just a branding exercise and monolithic apartments.
It also needs some kind of connection to its surrounding areas. To the east and west are high bridges, to the south a steep bank to the river and the the north more Industrial land. All of this, combined with the lack of any culture or leisure will create a little apartment ghetto no one will ever go near unless they actually live there.
 

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It is true, access is so key. It is the circulation and bloodflow of the place. It is critical to try to make this place harmonious with the city centre, or else it will just feel like a dead space, there for it's own sake. I also think the typology of what is being built is important, especially as Newcastle is probably beyond saturation point for venues that require disposable income to sustain (bars, trinketty shops and so on).

Yes there are significant hurdles of infrastructure, existing buildings and topography in the way, but not insurmountable, there just should be a bit more money and a bit more ambition. With a bit more resource, this access would be better:-

  • New Metro Station at Stephenson Quarter with a bridge over Forth Banks to link and form a pedestrian spine to Forth- Calders and so on.
  • OR a proper formal Southern entrance to Central Station a la Leeds South Entrance, with said Forth Banks link bridge.
  • A diagonal ramp down the bank of the Tyne to connect to the Quayside. It is not 'Quayside West' if you have to walk back into the city centre, and then out again to go between 'Quaysides' so to speak.
  • A primary connection back to the city centre via Centre for Life, probably involving demolition and remodelling of the Self Storage and car park on Marlborough Street. This could be quite cool and integrate with the railway arches of the Scotswood line.
  • Secondary connections taking advantage of every single bridge under former Scotswood line, pedestrian crossing over Scotswood road and connect to Elswick
  • Long term, pie in the sky, but I still harbour a desire to see a Scotswood line Central Station West terminating service for Tyne Valley lines bridging to Metro Centre, with a stopping Metro service and a stop at far end of Calder's to provide a full stop at the tail end of the development.
I'd also like to state that although apartments are the most essential type of residential in the city centre, it is a tighter demographic that wishes to live in them. To really avoid ghettoisation, we really need a diversity of housing types. Developers build apartments because they provide higher profit the more you build, but really, what we lack in Newcastle- and the nation as a whole, is decent 'townhouses'.

Despite some messy and relentless detailing, The Malings provide a decent brief of what inner city homes should be like. 3-4 storeys, short gardens, roof terraces, subtle parking, decent sizes. Our country used to build incredible townhouses- look to Georgian street scenes for this. We should be building Jesmond Road, Osbourne Road, Summerhill Terrace and so on but in contemporary forms. NCC planning policy should be stating this in development policy so the land values can be lowered to allow this form of development. That way developers, knowing that townhouses would be encouraged, can de-risk their projects and settle on a decent profit, not an exorbitant turnover.

And in not having so many groundscaper apartment blocks would free this typology to be used as Hadrian's Tower like high rise instead, as some of us want to see more of in the city.
 

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Maybe a good sports centre with variation and other recreation facilities, could be built on the land of the current Arena, once all residential plots on river front are built, then maybe lifestyle should be thought of, but then again, the land will be in the hand of any potential housing developer, or at risk of it. Maybe excessive bricks & concrete might overrun the area, but if built in stages, then there will not be overall long term concern probably
 

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I really like the proposals. However, as much as I'd love retail etc. Look at amount of empty units in town and on new developments like Newgate Centre, the student accommodation fronting New Bridge Street, Portland Green etc. It'd be great but I'd don't think its viable.

I like the solidity of them, but remember it's wedged between a main road and a noisy railway station.
 

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Just a grand, cohesive plan would be good. Is that really too much to ask for? Nothing ever seems to happen positively — why does the council keep dropping the ball? Or perhaps they can’t even pick it up!
 

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I'll say it again, I really like them and don't see the issue with the proposals. Regular form, good massing, looks urban and retains the woodland section to the front. They also compliment what has been built next door on Forth Banks.

View attachment 518402
Each to their own. I'm not overwhelmed with the actual architecture of it myself, but I am happy that they appear they are going to be well detailed, and happy some people are happy with them.

I'm just disappointed, like others, that there hasn't been too much thought to bringing together Forth- Calder's as a coherant expansion of the city centre. I mean, from Forth Banks to Dunn Street, the area is more than twice the size of Newcastle Helix!

It is also really important to judge this scheme with the Calder's Yard development. What I suspect is that both schemes will combine with visual interest concentrated each side of Redheugh bridge.

Whatever happens North of Pottery Lane too will be crucial. If what happens will be an exciting, extrovert shouty building, then we'll be grateful for the calmer foreground this scheme gives. If it's another boring groundscraper, then they will become a double negative to this part of town.
 

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Oh the architecture is mundane but safe and solid, but it feel like people are saying it's a Jury's Inn V2 style development when the worst thing is can say about this is the plasticky upper floors or that it looks vaguely American, but has local aesthetics e.g. George VI building at the University.
 

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George VI building at the main campus of Newcastle University - some pictures for comparison

Following on to last post from elliott some pictures by myself showing views of George VI building at the main campus of Newcastle University mentioned by him

From 04/06/12

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11/03/18

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KEN
 

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Well that has much better windows, stone detailing, and is without the horrible upper floor design etc -generally far superior and, crucially, of its time and it’s context. However the main issue is not the building details, rather the mass and form of 4 monolithic blocks in a row seen from the river angle. Prostu put up the CGI from Pottery Lane which looks ok because of the flow and variation. Then there’s NOs view of how it sits in relation to its surroundings and the interaction with the environs, connectivity etc which I entirely agree with.
My personal view is that it’s the deficit of the building from the fantastic,dramatic potential of the site that’s most disappointing. Forth Goods was a great structure, one of the largest of its time, why not the same a century and more later? If this was Clasper or Hawks Road it would be fine.
 

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Oh the architecture is mundane but safe and solid, but it feel like people are saying it's a Jury's Inn V2 style development when the worst thing is can say about this is the plasticky upper floors or that it looks vaguely American, but has local aesthetics e.g. George VI building at the University.
I might say this is accident over design- like you said, it is more in keeping with the warehousey nature of the Quayside and adjacent developments.

Would liked to have seen a nod towards this though.
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