Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

New Development That Will Hamper Club Development?

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

New Development That Will Hamper Club Development?

Article excerpt

Byline: Dan O'Donoghue Reporter

NEWCASTLE United's future development could be thwarted by student accommodation earmarked next to St James' Park, fans fear.

United fans worry that future expansion will be "shackled" by two student accommodation blocks planned opposite the stadium.

The application to build a nine-storey, 172-bed block and an 11-storey, 218-bed block on Strawberry Place has received a number of objections.

The proposal by Marrico Asset Management LLP also includes plans for a 10-storey office block and a 17-storey residential block on land between Strawberry Place and Gallowgate.

Steve Pharoah, lifelong Newcastle United fan and chartered town planner and urban designer, was one of those to raise concerns to Newcastle City Council about the proposal.

Mr Pharoah said: "St James' Park is constrained. Strawberry Place remains the last opportunity wherein Newcastle United Football Club may flex its muscles and expand further.

"In the face of growth by many other big clubs, these proposals will surely bind and gag the famous Geordie 'noise, the passion, the feeling of belonging, the pride' that is this city.

"I recall the immense frustration of thousands and thousands of people unable to experience first hand Keegan's wonderful Entertainers inside the stadium. "Success will return to St James' and with it once again cries to increase spectator capacity. Nowhere are we reassured that this proposal will not frustrate the essential and successful future growth of Newcastle United Football Club."

He added: "Cherished views of St James' Park would also be lost. The view of St James' Park is breathtaking - it makes you inhale then forget to exhale. "The proposed scale, massing and siting of buildings would destroy the experience of St James Park- like blackheads on a much-loved face. …

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