SkyscraperCity banner

21 - 40 of 1300 Posts

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
22,488 Posts
I find that the main problem with the West End is how fractured and low density it feels. You can walk to almost anywhere in the East (Sandyford, Heaton, Byker, possibly Walker) and North (Jesmond, Gosforth etc) of the city from the centre without having to be on a road that isn't a well defined street more than a small handful of times. The city seems to be continuous in that respect and therefore feels connected.

To the West you seem to be able to walk through huge tracts of undefined space (Elswick and Cruddas Park in particular having a lot of this), which like Seamaster's point about the boulevard, makes you feel very disconnected.

If the council looks to start filling in the empty and unused/underused sites closest to town and builds outwards, creating well defined routes to the centre, it would make the West End a much more attractive place to live.
Agree entirely with that, and yet it is only a relatively recent situation.

Until the mass destructions of "streets" and replacement of them with a combination of "nothing" and a "big road" and a "one-off buidling" or a "wall" or a "building facing in a different direction to the previous streetscape" (or whatever) that was planned to happen and then happened in the late 60s and early 70s and "contunuously thereafter" - Western Newcastle was every bit as 'connected' together and to the City Centre as North and East Newcastle still is.

To explain that rather long sentence!

When I lived in Elswick in the 60s as a child, I could just walk down decent civilised streets, continuously, down into the City Centre. You would come down (say) Elswick Road (and you could go off in any direction down real joined up "streets", but you could also keep on going up to 'the Big Lamp').

Then, on past the Big Lamp down Westgate Road (the West Road and Elswick Road 'merged' at the Big Lamp heading into town) past an increasing number of shops (including the, still there, bike shops) and into the early parts of the City Centre. You would pass the three cinemas (The Pavilion, The Stoll, The Essoldo) all very civilised . . and then you were into the City Centre.

I chose the 'Elswick Road/Wesgate road' route, but you could use Wesmorland Road (next one South) or Scotswood Road (next one South again) and you could divert off at right angles all the way along ANY of them, and you would still be going down normal civilised STREETS!!!!

OK, it was never a rich/middle class area and a lot of the housing needed replacing (no doubt) but they didn't have to DESTROY the STREETS.

This was a continuous City, it could so easily have remained that, it SHOULD have remained that.

For goodness sake, the MESS it is now in, the separation and the tracts of 'undefined space' are everywhere . . you cannot even walk the short distance to the ARENA (very close to the City Centre) without feeling it!

It is (purely) a 'planned' and 'planning' disaster, continuously (not just 60s and 70s) over the last 40 years or so. It is almost beyond saving. What is worse, I am pretty certain that this separation/devastation/undefined space issue, is not realised /noticed where it matters, and that N O T H I N G is currently being 'planned to be done' to repair it. Nothing.

Rant over . . (not worth ranting, nothing will happen)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,457 Posts
Discussion Starter #22
number of posts that hit the nail on the head there.

Westgate Road is the only 'route' out of the centre that feels like a real city street with a bit of life to it and this stops as soon as you hit the Tower Blocks at the top of the hill. There is some more urbanity and activity further west around the hospital, wingrove road etc, but atm there's a big gap between this and the city. Flatten the huge area of council housing at Arthur's Hill, reconnect the two with dense housing on legible, coherent streets and it would help to spread the positives qualities of the city centre westward.

Scotswood Road is, sadly, probably too far gone now to attempt this. And it's only not because of Cruddas Park, but the more lowrise council flats/maisonettes nearer the city centre, and the College, which treats Scotswood Road as nothing more than a carpark entrance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,188 Posts
Think you're right about Scotswood Rd, which is a dual carriageway now (albeit a fairly well designed and landscaped one) rather than a conventional urban street. About 100 years ago Elswick Road was a very grand street - you can still see traces of it (Stephenson Building and the one on the corner of Beech Grove Road, ditto the one on the corner of Elswick Row) and it had trams, shops, cinemas, you name it. It has gone downhill a lot since then of course.

Armstrong Road never joined up properly with Westmorland Road going east / west, but the bigger problem for the West End is the lack of north/south connectivity. If you want to go from Scotswood Road to West Road, you have to "go along" to "go up".
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
22,488 Posts
Think you're right about Scotswood Rd, which is a dual carriageway now (albeit a fairly well designed and landscaped one) rather than a conventional urban street. About 100 years ago Elswick Road was a very grand street - you can still see traces of it (Stephenson Building and the one on the corner of Beech Grove Road, ditto the one on the corner of Elswick Row) and it had trams, shops, cinemas, you name it. It has gone downhill a lot since then of course.

Armstrong Road never joined up properly with Westmorland Road going east / west, but the bigger problem for the West End is the lack of north/south connectivity. If you want to go from Scotswood Road to West Road, you have to "go along" to "go up".
Greg,

What do you think about (as I and Anger said above) the fact that we had a 'continuous' city, and we want (and need) to get that back (as said, even the short walk from City Centre to Arena is 'unpleasant' in parts) if we are ever to upgrade/bring back the inner 'West End' . . so we need active policies to look at how to do this (remove disjointed and un-defined spaces) and then to try and build up the continuity with normal/conventional streets - like it used to be (but better even!) all the way between the West End (inner) and the City Centre. I accept the Scotswood Road link-area is a different problem, as it is now a dual carriageway. The road system at the immediate 'Newcastle end' of the Redheugh Bridge is a particular problem, without the resolution of which (made simpler/more friendly) all else (even if the City Council 'attempt' to do something) could well fail.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,457 Posts
Discussion Starter #25
Apparently Scotswood Rd represents a physcological barrier for west end residents - what was once a simple street connecting the upper residential end with the lower industrial zone is now perceived as an impenetrable obstacle. One way of getting over this though is building High density active frontages right on the street, bringing people back there as a focal point (i'm thinking edgeware road in London as an example). The southern side could be, as the council desires, Commercial developments, while the northern part could be used for the College, Student res, council housing and private housing. A tram running down this street would also make sense. But there should be a policy to concentrate new development hard against the road so that there is no dead space. Unfortunately the College expansions have done nothing of the sort.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,188 Posts
Depends on what you're looking for - a permeable pedestrian-friendly environment or an easily navigable road network. Am not clear what the current status of the Redheugh Bridgehead "hamburger junction" is.

I don't think there's a lot to be gained from making Scotswood Rd active frontage again; given the usage the road gets I think it's better staying as is with a landscaped buffer; don't forget there is a considerable level change between the adjoining communities and the road itself.

The inactive spaces in the West End are not a deliberate policy, but they have emerged over time as previous developments have been cleared. In some cases these haven't been adequately re-planned (Rye Hill); but in others (Westmorland Road / Kenilworth Rd / Warrington Rd) there have been some landscaped improvements.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
970 Posts
Outdoor clothing chain to create 40 new jobs

from http://www.nebusiness.co.uk/business-news/latest-business-news/2009/11/04/outdoor-clothing-chain-to-create-40-new-jobs-51140-25087832/

OUTDOOR clothing chain GO Outdoors is set to create more than 40 jobs in Newcastle as part of its aggressive expansion plans to open 19 new stores by 2011.

The firm, which is headquartered in Sheffield, is to open a new superstore at the former Wickes site in West Denton Way, Newcastle, next month, which will become the region’s second store following the launch of an outlet in Stockton in March.

Newcastle will become the seventh store opening since the firm’s completion of an £18m refinancing package with Bank of Scotland Corporate earlier in the year and follows new stores in Wolverhampton and Bristol last year and Pudsey, Harlow and Basildon this year.

The new site
, which will become the firm’s 14th, will feature a centrepiece family-friendly 5m-high indoor climbing wall, which will allow customers to experience indoor rock climbing, as well as test new footwear on a range of different walking surfaces.

It will offer more than 20,000 outdoor lines, including everything from walking boots to ski-wear, fleeces to cycling equipment and tents to fishing equipment.

There will also be a dedicated tent area with more than 35 tents in 10,000sq ft of synthetic turf.

GO Outdoors Newcastle store manager Liz MacDougall said: “GO Outdoors is passionate about inspiring as many people as possible in the North East to get out and enjoy the outdoors lifestyle available on their doorstep.

“We hope the new Newcastle store will achieve just that.”
So this will go to where Wickes was, near Blockbusters/McDonalds - meanwhile new Wickes is sitting on its new site all on its own. Any idea if those other empty unites are to be taken?
 

·
Urban Environmentalist
Joined
·
1,661 Posts
^^^ Yeah that was a development by Brookfield as well.... cant inspire much faith in Newcastle retail at a time when we are desperate for them to move on EPS.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,457 Posts
Discussion Starter #30
I see that the application to extend the Balmoral pub and turn it into a hotel was granted:

here's an elevation-
 

·
Southeast Geordie
Joined
·
640 Posts
Agree entirely with that, and yet it is only a relatively recent situation.

Until the mass destructions of "streets" and replacement of them with a combination of "nothing" and a "big road" and a "one-off buidling" or a "wall" or a "building facing in a different direction to the previous streetscape" (or whatever) that was planned to happen and then happened in the late 60s and early 70s and "contunuously thereafter" - Western Newcastle was every bit as 'connected' together and to the City Centre as North and East Newcastle still is.

To explain that rather long sentence!

When I lived in Elswick in the 60s as a child, I could just walk down decent civilised streets, continuously, down into the City Centre. You would come down (say) Elswick Road (and you could go off in any direction down real joined up "streets", but you could also keep on going up to 'the Big Lamp').

Then, on past the Big Lamp down Westgate Road (the West Road and Elswick Road 'merged' at the Big Lamp heading into town) past an increasing number of shops (including the, still there, bike shops) and into the early parts of the City Centre. You would pass the three cinemas (The Pavilion, The Stoll, The Essoldo) all very civilised . . and then you were into the City Centre.

I chose the 'Elswick Road/Wesgate road' route, but you could use Wesmorland Road (next one South) or Scotswood Road (next one South again) and you could divert off at right angles all the way along ANY of them, and you would still be going down normal civilised STREETS!!!!

OK, it was never a rich/middle class area and a lot of the housing needed replacing (no doubt) but they didn't have to DESTROY the STREETS.

This was a continuous City, it could so easily have remained that, it SHOULD have remained that.

For goodness sake, the MESS it is now in, the separation and the tracts of 'undefined space' are everywhere . . you cannot even walk the short distance to the ARENA (very close to the City Centre) without feeling it!

It is (purely) a 'planned' and 'planning' disaster, continuously (not just 60s and 70s) over the last 40 years or so. It is almost beyond saving. What is worse, I am pretty certain that this separation/devastation/undefined space issue, is not realised /noticed where it matters, and that N O T H I N G is currently being 'planned to be done' to repair it. Nothing.

Rant over . . (not worth ranting, nothing will happen)
totally agree Historian ..

it's amazing to see how many streets were razed for the purposes of the Boulevard alone .. heres a picture from the early 90's which shows what was lost even in the last 15 years or so ..

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,457 Posts
Discussion Starter #36
i had no idea the brewery had extended over those houses and the green space so recently! the small triangle at the right of the pic still exists - they're too low-density for the location imo, but still, the pic demonstrates very well how we've lost tightly ordered small streets and replaced them with expansive roads and windswept empty spaces.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
22,488 Posts
Agree entirely with that, and yet it is only a relatively recent situation.

Until the mass destructions of "streets" and replacement of them with a combination of "nothing" and a "big road" and a "one-off buidling" or a "wall" or a "building facing in a different direction to the previous streetscape" (or whatever) that was planned to happen and then happened in the late 60s and early 70s and "contunuously thereafter" - Western Newcastle was every bit as 'connected' together and to the City Centre as North and East Newcastle still is.

To explain that rather long sentence!

When I lived in Elswick in the 60s as a child, I could just walk down decent civilised streets, continuously, down into the City Centre. You would come down (say) Elswick Road (and you could go off in any direction down real joined up "streets", but you could also keep on going up to 'the Big Lamp').

Then, on past the Big Lamp down Westgate Road (the West Road and Elswick Road 'merged' at the Big Lamp heading into town) past an increasing number of shops (including the, still there, bike shops) and into the early parts of the City Centre. You would pass the three cinemas (The Pavilion, The Stoll, The Essoldo) all very civilised . . and then you were into the City Centre.

I chose the 'Elswick Road/Wesgate road' route, but you could use Wesmorland Road (next one South) or Scotswood Road (next one South again) and you could divert off at right angles all the way along ANY of them, and you would still be going down normal civilised STREETS!!!!

OK, it was never a rich/middle class area and a lot of the housing needed replacing (no doubt) but they didn't have to DESTROY the STREETS.

This was a continuous City, it could so easily have remained that, it SHOULD have remained that.

For goodness sake, the MESS it is now in, the separation and the tracts of 'undefined space' are everywhere . . you cannot even walk the short distance to the ARENA (very close to the City Centre) without feeling it!

It is (purely) a 'planned' and 'planning' disaster, continuously (not just 60s and 70s) over the last 40 years or so. It is almost beyond saving. What is worse, I am pretty certain that this separation/devastation/undefined space issue, is not realised /noticed where it matters, and that N O T H I N G is currently being 'planned to be done' to repair it. Nothing.

Rant over . . (not worth ranting, nothing will happen)
My parents Map of 1950s Newcastle (that I used on the 'Historic Newcastle' thread to show the pre-CME City Centre) now really clearly shows the route I used to walk, that I describe in the above post . . . with normal streets all-the-way!!
 
21 - 40 of 1300 Posts
Top