Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

The Council Leader Who Just Loves Tall Storeys; Commercial Property

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

The Council Leader Who Just Loves Tall Storeys; Commercial Property

Article excerpt

Byline: Graeme King

THE city of Newcastle could yet be the home of a skyscraper to rival the scale of what Sunderland has just unveiled with the Spirit of Sunderland tower.

The chances of a tower being built seem to rest on an outline plan for the Science Central development which is expected in around six weeks time.

Consultants EDAW are working on the essential elements of Science Central - how many buildings, on what scale, and for what uses.

Councillor John Shipley, the leader of Newcastle City Council, is a prominent advocate of tall buildings being added to the skyline.

With regeneration agency Sunderland Arc having just unveiled Thornfield Properties' plans for the 100-metre high Spirit of Sunderland tower, there is a growing competition for the region's tallest building.

The former Scottish & Newcastle brewery land, to be developed as Science Central, is the favourite site to host such a building.

However the S&N headquarters building, still not sold despite many months of marketing and negotiations, is still in the frame for potential redevelopment, and the car park owned by Newcastle United next to St James Metro also has backing in some quarters.

S&N owner Downing from Liverpool has not completed a deal to sell the 13 storey block, and negotiations are believed to be ongoing on whether it could be demolished and replaced with a much taller tower, or whether it would merely be refurbished.

There is some backing amongst architects, developers and council leaders for Newcastle to embrace a major skyscraper project.

Coun Shipley was in Cannes last week for MIPIM conference, meeting property industry leaders, and seeing the development plans of cities from across the world, with some imaginative tower designs to the fore.

He affirmed his desire to see taller buildings in Newcastle. …

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