Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Double Dutch; Nonsense Report from Netherlands That Says Newcastle Is a Drab City to Live In

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Double Dutch; Nonsense Report from Netherlands That Says Newcastle Is a Drab City to Live In

Article excerpt

Byline: KIM CARMICHAEL

WE ARE known as some of the happiest and most welcoming people in the world - except, it would seem, to a bunch of flower growers from the Netherlands.

A survey by the Flower Council of Holland has pegged Newcastle as the most drab and depressing place to live in Britain, with the tulip growers saying that 81% of people on Tyneside are in the dumps because of their drab surroundings.

But proud Geordies have hit back and say Newcastle is in fact one of the country's most beautiful cities.

As the architect who created the pounds 36m Trinity Gardens development on Newcastle's Quayside, Richard Elphick has strong views on the city.

Mr Elphick, environment and sustainability director at Newcastle architects _space and Institute of Directors' North East chairman, said: "I've never heard such nonsense in all my life.

"I presume they are making reference to the landscape around the city, but we have got some fantastic spaces.

"Leazes Park is a delightful Victorian park and Jesmond Dene has been enjoyed by the people of Newcastle since it was gifted by Lord Armstrong.

"The Town Moor might not look much, but it's got swallows and skylarks and is a thriving area. We also have Exhibition Park, a really nice landscape that is maturing very well.

"People in Newcastle only have to travel a short distance and be in a greenbelt. How many other cities can say that in 25 minutes, you can be in the heart of the countryside? "Newcastle has some of the best examples of Victorian architecture and master planning in Britain, if not Europe. Grey Street is just one example of the fantastic buildings in the city.

"It is far better to have this, than to plant flowers everywhere, which are costly and difficult to maintain."

The Flower Council of Holland polled 2,000 ahead of a tour of Britain in which they will hand out free blooms to passers-by. After Newcastle, Norwich, Birmingham, Nottingham, Manchester and London were also named as being depressing places to live.

The research also claimed that in the last year, half of adults in the UK have considered moving away from their home town or city for a fresh start elsewhere and more than six in 10 said a desire for more colourful or interesting surroundings was the main reason they wanted to move. …

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