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It's safe to assume the scale of this is because the Benton site is in fact relocating here?
There is a very strong rumour that the the "HMRC Newcastle Regional Centre" (one of only 13 HMRC office centres now in the UK) is to re-locate from BPV in High Heaton into the City Centre.

HMRC Estates have not confirmed this officially yet (though they also have not denied it) neither have they identified which office blocks in the City Centre (existing, under-construction, or in planning) are under consideration.
 

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The scale is just way out, nor does it appropriately placed within the block (too little on PS side, too much on JDS side).
Putting a positive spin on it, this might make sense if we are to see heights stepping up to the motorway?

Even though we are seeing (finally!) fantastic development of EPS, there still are gap sites this extra over space could fill, rather than in the PQ block, we could redevelop the following:-

  • The horrorshow that is Pearl Assurance,
  • NBS building,
  • Broadacre House
  • Plummer Court
  • Gap site behind the Laing
  • FYEO site
My hope is that the current developments will lead to at least some of this. Fingers crossed.
My fear is that this'll be it. A completed EPS all 'inward' facing. The Gainford plans could be pivotal.

It's safe to assume the scale of this is because the Benton site is in fact relocating here?
It must be surely? That's certainly the word on the street.
 

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Putting a positive spin on it, this might make sense if we are to see heights stepping up to the motorway?



My hope is that the current developments will lead to at least some of this. Fingers crossed.
My fear is that this'll be it. A completed EPS all 'inward' facing. The Gainford plans could be pivotal.



It must be surely? That's certainly the word on the street.
I don't have a problem with height, but i do have a problem with mass and scale. It is often conflated, particularly by planning. Height and mass are two different things, and slender skyscrapers are often far less imposing then shorter groundscapers that bulk out.

The PQ proposals are dumpy, they stretch out as far as possible to the site boundary (to the point they involve the demolition of nearly all of Carliol Square) and then keep going up, up, up to way over what the surroundings of JDS would consider acceptable. If it were set against CME, or SJB, or the Gateshead Quays it would be fine, as the roads are generally wider, more set back and there is more general space. But PQ is within the old town wall, isn't designed to be a landmark like Pilgrim Place, and there's no other way to say this, looks dull and boring.

Now, yes Bewick Court sits atop JDS, but as a tower its mass is slender, and you can generally see sky either side of it unless you are right up against it. PQ is the opposite. The blue carpet area is sombre enough, but with however many storeys obliterating any sunlight from 2pm every day of Autumn/Winter/Spring, I would say it's too much.

Simply put, and to misuse a Neil Young lyric, buildings should scrape the sky, they shouldn't trawl it of light.

Its true EPS is certainly on the up, and I think these other developments mentioned eventually will come forward. This could be expedited by increasing the crossovers and ending the row of Cul De Sacs slamming against the CME from All Saint's to Jesmond Road. Developers of residential and office instinctively wish for 'inward facing' (and in the case of HMRC entirely appropriate) but too often fail to realise that without movement, buzz and vibrancy surrounding the properties they will die off sharply. It is the job of the architects, planners and city council to strike that balance so these shiny new developments stay and endure rather than sink into misery like Eldon Square.

I understand the City Council live under a cloak of austerity and cuts, but the reality is they are way too shy of being bold and stamping their point. Their biggest proposition to date is planting flowers on Grey Street, or pop up pointlessness off Northumberland Road. This is not acceptable. For the same money for all the CGI gumpf to show this, they could have gotten transport engineers, urban designers and architects to look at CME, look at SJB, and find ways to make them more accessible, permeable and inviting as a city centre edge by proposing bridges, squares, tall clusters of buildings, or even buildsings spanning over the motorway. This in turn would raise the quality of Shieldfield, Battlefield, EPS and Uni areas. But instead we get more fluff on Grey Street, a street more than any other street in the City, that can look after itself.

That meandered a bit! But Newcastle and Gateshead (and Tyneside) persistently suffers from a lack of holistic thinking and there is way too much silo thinking, from a site in EPS, to an industrial park or housing estate eating out into the fields of Northumberland, strangling inner city prosperity and letting vacant, sustainable building gap sites to remain dust bowls.
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
Pilgrim's Quarter development, East Pilgrim St area, Newcastle - existing buildings pictures to 17/10/21 Part 1

Pictures by myself from Sunday 17/10/21 approx 1330 - 1345 (with some from earlier) showing the existing buildings & Stack containers around the perimeter of the Pilgrim's Quarter development, East Pilgrim St area, Newcastle, with some views into development area

Carliol House building, corner of Pilgrim St and along Market St















To the east of Carliol House is Bamburgh House

My picture from 20/03/21



- see further pictures of Bamburgh House on posts on the EPS / East Pilgrim Street - Developments thread, including

Post #2507 on EPS / East Pilgrim Street - Developments

Post #2643 on EPS / East Pilgrim Street - Developments

Post #2682 on EPS / East Pilgrim Street - Developments

Around the corner from Bamburgh House is the building containing Dex Multi Storey Car Park former Buzz Bar etc

Pictures from 28/01/20






- see further pictures on posts on the EPS / East Pilgrim Street - Developments thread, including

Post #2441 on EPS / East Pilgrim Street - Developments

Post #2450 on EPS / East Pilgrim Street - Developments

Post #2517 on EPS / East Pilgrim Street - Developments

Post #2523 on EPS / East Pilgrim Street - Developments

Post #2707 on EPS / East Pilgrim Street - Developments

More on following post

KEN
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
Pilgrim's Quarter development, East Pilgrim St area, Newcastle - existing buildings pictures to 17/10/21 Part 2

Pictures by myself from Sunday 17/10/21 approx 1330 - 1345 (with some from earlier) showing the existing buildings & Stack containers around the perimeter of the Pilgrim's Quarter development, East Pilgrim St area, Newcastle, with some views into development area

My pictures of the cuurent situation with Buzz sign & the car park, 17/10/21















To the west of the Dex Garage entrance is the site area currently occupied by the Stack container scheme

My pictures from 17/10/21 showing some current views, including those of rear of Commercial Union House







More on following post

KEN
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
Pilgrim's Quarter development, East Pilgrim St area, Newcastle - existing buildings pictures to 17/10/21 Part 3 of 3

Pictures by myself from Sunday 17/10/21 approx 1330 - 1345 (with some from earlier) showing the existing buildings & Stack containers around the perimeter of the Pilgrim's Quarter development, East Pilgrim St area, Newcastle, with some views into development area

Further pictures from 17/10/21 of The Stack and Commercial Union House









Commercial Union House, pictures from 28/02/21









KEN
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
Pilgrim's Quarter development, East Pilgrim St area, Newcastle, Dex Car Park demolition - pictures 20/11/21

Following up on recent posts to general EPS thread, rather than this specific thread

Pictures by myself from Saturday 20/11/21 approx 1330 showing the existing Dex Car Park of the Pilgrim's Quarter development, East Pilgrim St area, Newcastle, now screened off ahead of demolition by MGL Demolition









KEN
 

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Thought I would see this here, supposed to be a concept for stack site and offices due to open in 2027 to house the government department.

It's absolutely on point by design. It looks like it has small retail on the ground and huge space for offices and hopefully, open gardens or relaxation space behind.

https://www.pilgrimsquarternewcastle.com. also on here

 

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It's just so dull.

Brief wise- just right. Offices to serve people up for the city centre, but my my 4 storeys of same same same same?

Facades should have a top, middle and bottom. Look at Carliol House, look at Graingertown. The base is right, the middle would be right if it had more breaks in its horizontality, but it lacks a top.

Look at the scale at the back- awful, domineering, unsculpted. Just expanded out to all edges without thought to corners, top, profile, silhouette. Take a storey off the rear and add it to the Pilgrim Street side (its the most prominent corner of the entire city arguably, it can handle a bit of scale), give it a set back top and hey ho it would magically rest in its context without unnerving attention being drawn to it.

Its basic elevational treatment no considered. It feels like the architects have not been given the time to properly compose.

On a more positive note. I cannot wait to stand on Northumberland Street and look down at a Pilgrim Street no longer interrupted by Commercial Union. I remember seeing the result of Westgate House coming down and being so happy to see a Newcastle Street return to its 'proper' form
 

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It's just so dull.

Brief wise- just right. Offices to serve people up for the city centre, but my my 4 storeys of same same same same?

Facades should have a top, middle and bottom. Look at Carliol House, look at Graingertown. The base is right, the middle would be right if it had more breaks in its horizontality, but it lacks a top.

Look at the scale at the back- awful, domineering, unsculpted. Just expanded out to all edges without thought to corners, top, profile, silhouette. Take a storey off the rear and add it to the Pilgrim Street side (its the most prominent corner of the entire city arguably, it can handle a bit of scale), give it a set back top and hey ho it would magically rest in its context without unnerving attention being drawn to it.

Its basic elevational treatment no considered. It feels like the architects have not been given the time to properly compose.
DICT[C] isn't it
 

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HMRC to move more than 9,000 staff from BPV in Newcastle and from Washington and Peterlee into the 'Pilgrims Quarter' City Centre Office Block
ChronicleLIVE, 23rd November 2021

More than 9,000 staff from HMRC are set to move into the City Centre in the biggest office move the city has ever seen. The workers from HMRC’s current Newcastle base at Benton Park View (BPV) as well as at Washington and Peterlee, will move to Pilgrim’s Quarter, a nine-storey office block on the site of the old Odeon cinema. The building will be the largest of HMRC’s 13 Regional Centres UK-wide, with the thousands of people moving into the City Centre likely to prove a major boost to struggling shops, pubs and restaurants in the area.

Staff are expected to complete the move by 2027, when HMRC leases on its current Newcastle/BPV and Washington sites run out. HM Revenue and Customs confirmed plans to quit its Benton Park View site earlier this year, triggering the search for a site large enough for its 6,500 employees. The BPV site has been the base for the ‘Ministry’ since the late 1940s and thousands of people in the region have worked at its agencies over the last nine decades. The base currently houses a number of agencies including The Pension, Disability and Carers’ Service, Jobcentre Plus and The Health and Safety Executive, as well as HMRC.

Jim Harra, HMRC’s chief executive and first permanent secretary, said: “HMRC has had a longstanding presence in Newcastle and the North East, and signing the lease for the new regional centre is a clear demonstration of our commitment to the area, its economy and our employees based in the North East. The new Regional Centre at Pilgrim’s Quarter will deliver the inclusive, flexible and collaborative working environment that meets the current and future needs of our colleagues while improving career development opportunities.”

Taras Properties - a development vehicle acting on behalf of real estate entrepreneurs Reuben Brothers, who are part of the consortium that has bought Newcastle United - has been driving forward plans for the East Pilgrim Street (EPS) regeneration area which also include offices such as Bank House on the site of the former Bank of England building on Pilgrim Street. City Council leader Nick Forbes said: “This is fantastic news for anyone who has a stake in the success of the city centre, having a new development for 9,000 workers in the heart of the city will be great for transport operators, retailers and the hospitality trade."

Read More - HMRC to move more than 9,000 staff into Newcastle city office block - Chronicle Live
 

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This is hugely significant for the city centre.
Has there ever been such a boost for Newcastle in recent years ?
To see the Pilgrim St and surrounding area finally being developed to it's full potential is very exciting.
Admittedly 6,500 of the 9,000 jobs are just moving from one part of Newcastle to the other (so no gain there) but 2,500 jobs are new, coming in from places like Washington and Peterlee, outside of the City Boundary. HMRC have 13 Regional Centres nationwide, they have recently closed (literally) hundreds of offices all over the UK to combine them all into these 13 centres - and the "Newcastle Regional Centre" being re-located into Pilgrim's Quarter, is comfortably the largest of the HMRC Regional Centres.

ALL good news!

The main benefit is to the economy of the City Centre itself. It is so much better than in recent years where big employers (Sage, Procter & Gamble, etc) have actually re-located OUT of Newcastle into some Business Park or other.

This HMRC move, along with the recently announced 1,000 new DEFRA jobs (they are opening a new Newcastle Hub) is very positive news.
 
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