Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Can We Organise a Plan in a Brewery?

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Can We Organise a Plan in a Brewery?

Article excerpt

Byline: By Ross Smith

A heated debate has started on the future of the Tyne Brewery after production ended last week. Ross Smith looks at the options being put forward.

The last bottles of Brown Ale had barely rolled off the production line when a new future for the historic Tyne Brewery in Newcastle began to be mapped out.

The appearance of a prime city centre site on the property market will inevitably spark a mad scramble from developers to get a piece of the action.

So far, Newcastle City Council has spent pounds 10.3m of housing Pathfinder money for five acres of the site, while Liverpool-based Downing Developments has bought a further four acres ( leaving 14.5 acres still up for grabs.

The brewery sale provided an unexpected fillip to Newcastle City Council's plans to regenerate the western end of the city centre, which it has dubbed the Discovery Quarter.

For that reason, it is preparing to lay down planning rules to make sure firms eyeing a quick buck don't put it to all the wrong uses.

A series of meetings began this week to discuss possible uses for the site. High on the agenda will be housing.

The council has identified two major problems facing the city's housing market ( a lack of suitable family homes and growing numbers of students ( and wants to use the site to address both.

Some private housing will go on the site ( possibly in the style of the town houses in Summerhill Square.

It could also contain a student apartment block, amid concerns that areas such as Jesmond are "close to bursting point", according to Newcastle City Council's executive member for development, Coun Greg Stone.

A further idea is to build some sheltered housing for elderly members of the Chinese community, which is struggling for space around Stowell Street.

Downing Developments has put forward proposals to create 525 residential apartments, 1,000 student apartments and 650 key-worker apartments.

Many feel there is a need to create some affordable housing too, after claims recently that Newcastle's apartment market is "saturated". …

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