Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Developers Tell MP 'Site Will Be Built on Anyway'

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Developers Tell MP 'Site Will Be Built on Anyway'

Article excerpt

Byline: DANIEL HOLLAND Local Democracy Reporter

THE developer behind plans that could block the expansion of St James' Park has warned that rejecting the project will mean Newcastle misses out on a PS100m cash injection and 1,000 jobs.

Durham-based firm Helios has hit back at protestations from city MP Chi Onwurah, who has this week joined hundreds of Newcastle United fans in opposing a huge redevelopment of Strawberry Place.

In a letter to the Labour MP, Helios chairman Trevor Cartner says it is inevitable that the land next to the football stadium will be built on and that it would be a "missed opportunity" if Newcastle City Council refuses planning permission for their proposed flats, offices, and four-star hotel.

Local authority chiefs previously approved plans to build student housing blocks on the land, before developers scrapped that vision in favour of a more ambitious plan.

But Mr Cartner says that a rejection of the latest designs when councillors meet next month would force the landowners to revert to the original plans, which had also sparked fears from Magpies fans around views of the iconic stadium being obscured and future expansion of the ground being blocked.

In his response to Ms Onwurah, Mr Cartner said: "Whilst I understand the points you make, I feel it's important to point out that this site already has planning permission for a major development similar in style to ours.

"The scheme which the City Council approved in August 2017 however was for student housing and offices.

"When we agreed to buy the site with our joint venture partners Marrico, we felt that a more dynamic mix was called for so we have produced a revised scheme with apartments for rent, offices which will attract new employment and a 200-bed four star hotel which will bring new visitors to the city. …

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