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What the hell is a community fire station anyway? Saw one being built in Bedlington the other day.
Hehe - like the Rye Hill one. I always wondered that, too. Preumably the modern new fire and rescue service serves the community, unlike the frowsty old pre-200 service which, er, ...

Actually, it is probably Newspeak for 'PFA-financed fire station'. They couldn't very well call it 'Fire station which will bleed the community white for several decades to fill the pockets of our political masters' chums in the construction industry' - wouldn't fit on the sign. So, 'Community Fire Station'. Simples.
 

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Discussion Starter · #62 ·
couple of pieces from the local press:

Trio of Scotswood residents refuse to budge

Dec 16 2009 by Amy Hunt, Evening Chronicle

THREE protestors are threatening to hold up regeneration plans for a Tyneside suburb.

A final few residents in Scotswood are resisting efforts by Newcastle City Council to buy their properties for demolition.

Council officers say they need to own all the land in Scotswood which is earmarked for a £270m redevelopment, or the project cannot go ahead.

But three residents have mounted a legal challenge against the council and a Government inspector has now started a public inquiry into whether to give the green light for the scheme to carry on.

The council says its plans will see 1,800 homes, shops, community centres and a school built, which will completely change the image of Scotswood and the prospects of those who live there.

Developer Mohammed Azam, who owns a house on Armstrong Road, wants to demolish and rebuild his property, rather than allow the council to demolish it.

He is arguing he could do the work in a matter of months, while it could take the city council up to 15 years.

Mary Chambers, who runs a chemist and Post Office on Armstrong Road, wants the council to preserve her premises rather than knock them down. The council says her shops could be housed in new premises within the plans.

Caroline Hawkins, of Forest Road, is objecting on the grounds that the redevelopment plan will increase the number of cars on the city’s roads.

Hundreds of residents have been moved out of the area and seen their former homes flattened under plans for the regeneration of the area, which go back nearly 10 years.

Alma Wheeler, chair of the Scotswood Village Residents’ Association, said families in the area wanted to see the redevelopment progress. She said: “We don’t understand how they can object at this stage, after all the discussions we have been through and all the work which has been done.

“We have lost nearly 1,200 residents from Scotswood. But thought things would improve and we wanted better things for our children.”

Plans for the regeneration of Scotswood began in 2000, with Labour’s Going For Growth scheme to flatten and replace homes.

Hundreds of houses were pulled down, with hundreds more scheduled for demolition, but no new ones were built.

When the Liberal Democrats won control of the council in June 2004 they scrapped Going for Growth, and consultations for the Benwell and Scotswood Area Action Plan were launched in 2006 but progress has remained slow.

The council says work to prepare the ground for housebuilding will start early next year and a private developer for the scheme is set to be appointed.

The inspector’s judgement is due to be published early in 2010.
Bailout for flats scheme

TAXPAYERS look set to pick up the bill for redeveloping a Newcastle estate.

The future of Riverside Dene, formerly Cruddas Park, in the city’s west end, was thrown into doubt when partners pulled out of a regeneration scheme.

Now Newcastle City Council is facing a £4.6m funding gap and is having to look at demolition of up to five of the blocks to save cash.

It is taking back the reins of the project and will refurbish more of the tower blocks for rent and private sale itself to keep the scheme moving.

The council, along with Your Homes Newcastle (YHN), was originally going to kick-off the scheme to give all 10 blocks a facelift by renovating three, then letting partners Gentoo and Bellway take over and pick up the bill.

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

A report to councillors now recommends the council and YHN push forward to refurbish a fourth and fifth block and make a decision about the rest later.

Demolition of one or more of the remaining blocks is a serious possibility if private sector cash cannot be found to finish the scheme, as the council could not afford to cover the cost of the full scheme. Councillors are advised to consider only what is "financially realistic". But in the meantime the funding gap for renovating the fourth block for rent and the fifth for private sale will have to be met from the public purse.

Coun Nick Forbes, leader of Newcastle’s Labour opposition group, asked why officers had not taken steps to make sure private partners could not pull out.

He said: "The council needs urgently to look at its procurement and contracting processes to make sure developers don’t have the chance to walk away before they have signed on the dotted line."

Coun Bill Shepherd, the Lib Dem council’s executive member for regeneration and housing, said: "Demolition of the Riverside Dene blocks is our absolute last resort. The Government-inspired recession has caused problems for developers across the country and sadly the effects on our plans at Riverside Dene can be seen here.

"The Audit Commission have just praised us for our response to the recession, only one of two local authorities in the country. Nobody should be fooled by the fog of Labour spin, it is just an attempt to cover the fact that Newcastle’s Labour MPs were asleep at the wheel of the economy as it headed for the cliff and are now desperate to save their political skins."

David Slater, the city council’s executive director of environment and regeneration, said: "It was always our intention to carry out this development in phases and we are working hard to maintain the momentum.

"Our partners continue to do design work on the development. We must respect their right to make commercial decisions in the very different economic climate we face, and we do not rule out their involvement in the development of other blocks.

"Inevitably we will have to re-think later parts of the scheme to take into account the recession but will consult people and look into alternative funding options first."

In April Cruddas Park was "re-branded" and renamed at a cost of £45,000.

Councillors will consider the report at a meeting today, while a decision will be made on the final blocks in September.
 

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With regards to the first story - there is always someone that will be a pain in the backside, the whole area is a bloomin mess and the sooner Scotswood is redeveloped the better. Cant the council just CPO them?

As for Cruddas Park, that is decent news. Right now it looks ridiculous with just the one block renovated whilst the others are an eyesore - so if a few need to be demolished to allow the others to progress then so be it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #64 ·
agree Ahmed. i also read a story that the whitehouse centre is going to be CPO'd, which is surprising since it seems quite successful at what it does.
 

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Funding boost for vital research
Dec 17 2009 by Andrew Mernin, The Journal

PLANS to transform Newcastle into an international hub for groundbreaking research into health and ageing have received a £2.6m shot in the arm.

Newcastle University has received new European backing for its plans to develop the Campus for Ageing and Vitality – a new four-storey facility stretching over 1,000sqm of land in Newcastle.

The university is investing £13m on building the centre on the Newcastle General Hospital site as looks aims to bring clinicians, academics and businesses together to develop life-changing products and services for older people.

It has now been backed by £2.55m in funding from the European Union to complete the development which hopes to improve the understanding and diagnosis of older patients whose treatment is often complicated by multiple medical conditions.

It will look to uncover the biological factors driving the ageing process, such as the lifelong accumulation of damage to chromosomes and will also support detailed study of how nutrition affects people later in life.

As well as boosting the North East economy by encouraging the creation of commercial spin-offs from related products or services, the project could also boost the aspirations of Newcastle Science City (NSC) – the initiative which hopes to make Tyneside a global hub for innovation and enterprise.

NSC’s chief executive Peter Arnold said: “This new facility clearly demonstrates Newcastle University’s commitment to stay at the very forefront of research into ageing.

“Newcastle is already a science city and by encouraging academics, business people and research and development managers to work in such close proximity with this new centre, the institute is playing a vital part in its success.”
 

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The Whitehouse centre served an important purpose for local small businesses but is riddled with "concrete cancer" and there's very little that can be done to renovate / refurbish what is essentially a large scale 50's built abbatoir. A replacement facility is being built by Priority Sites as part of the Loadman St redevelopment.
 

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Greg, what's happening about the Scotswood Expo - both in terms of the exemplar housing and the wider redevelopment of the Scotswood site? I'm still waiting to see what's going to happen with the exemplar housing, it's the first chance the city's had for years to see genuinely innovative housing being built in the city.

Hopefully even NCC couldn't mess this one up!
 

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Discussion Starter · #68 ·
Greg, what's happening about the Scotswood Expo - both in terms of the exemplar housing and the wider redevelopment of the Scotswood site? I'm still waiting to see what's going to happen with the exemplar housing, it's the first chance the city's had for years to see genuinely innovative housing being built in the city.

Hopefully even NCC couldn't mess this one up!
the planning application for the masterplan just went in last week and showed up on the website today. ive tried accessing the PDF but it won't load for me. :eek:hno: the planning portal sucks since they updated the layout.

2007/1300/07/DCC | Submission of a development framework for the whole site and a design code for each phase of the development to comply with conditions 4 and 5 of permission 2007/1300/01/OUT dated 21.9.07: Outline Application: Erection of new urban neighbourhood comprising up to 1800 new homes (Class C3), local shopping centre (Classes A1, A2, A3, A4 and A5) of up to 2,230 square metres, including a single convenience store (Class A1) of up to 1,000 square metres, business premises (Class B1) of up to 3,000 square metres, a primary school (Class C2), community buildings (Class D1) of up to 900 square metres, all with associated alterations to highways and provision of new public open spaces | Land Bounded By Hadrians Way To The South, Haig Crescent To The North, Shafto Street And Denton Road To The West, And Hodgkin Park To The East, Scotswood Newcastle upon Tyne Tyne And Wear
 

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Green light for Newcastle fire station site
Feb 2 2010 by Adam Jupp, Evening Chronicle



MOVES to transform a former fire station into a business training centre have been given the green light.

The West Road fire station, in Newcastle’s West End, closed in 2005 and has been lying empty ever since.

But organisation Centre West, which works to breathe fresh life into area, has developed plans to turn it into a three-storey enterprise complex, complete with bistro and creche.

It is hoped the building will encourage budding entrepreneurs to start up businesses in what is one of the region’s most deprived areas.

The scheme was chosen from a shortlist of six after proposals were originally submitted to the Newcastle City Council in September 2008.

Plans for a development, dubbed Asia Town, focusing on Asian food, goods and services, were dropped in favour of a community scheme, while a proposal for a mosque on the site was also dropped.

Now, councillors have given planning permission for the revamp of the 1.31 acre site.

A report that went before the council’s development control committee said: “The application relates to the site of the former West Road Fire Station.

“The building would comprise of a reception and atrium area within the central core; 12 artisan units, bistro, enterprise centre and crèche to the ground floor; offices and training rooms to the first floor and a kitchen and function room with a 400 people capacity to the second floor.

“The proposed three-storey building would take the form of a modern contemporary landmark building.”

Plans for the fire station were drawn up by New Deal for Communities, which has since changed its name to Centre West, and environmental charity Groundwork South Tyneside and Newcastle.

The City Council acquired the site about three years ago, in return for the Fire Service using council land at Colby Court, Rye Hill, for a new fire station.

It was sold to New Deal and Groundwork for £550,000, with £177,000 going to the Fire Service, due to the fact the Colby Court site was worth less than the West Road site
 

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Discussion Starter · #75 ·
images of the proposed replacement for the Whitehouse centre, containing 150,000sq ft of office and business space.


 

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Really not a fan of that - I think it looks pretty cheap and tacky. It'll walk through planning though, obviously.

From what I've heard about the Whitehouse Centre though, is that it's built with a structural system known (I think) as post-tensioned concrete (although I didn't know that it was such an old system). It's rare in this country, but really common in countries like Australia.

Anyway, the long and short of it is that it's hard to demolish these buildings, as the wires in the structure turn it into a huge coiled spring. If demolished wrong (or simply blown up) the wire is under such tension that it can fling huge lumps of concrete a pretty impressive distance. Could be quite a show!
 

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It is interesting to see how the now very "isolated" Balmoral used to look when it was in a civilised place all surrounded by normal housing streets back in the 1960s. This excellent photo was posted by hollow man recently, on the "Historic" thread . .



Former Balmoral Pub - now Ryokan Hotel, Westgate Road - photo's taken on 18th January



 
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