Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Blue House Roundabout scandal

Somewhat Off Topic but none the worse for that. Newcastle City Council are proposing to turn yet more of the Town Moor, one of the most extraordinary open spaces left in the country, into tar mac. A huge roundabout – the scale of this effort is staggering – is planned to take the stress out of driving through Newcastle.

Note: The 'roundabout' (sic) is the same size
as nearby allotments on Ilford Road

This plan joins a growing list that somehow characterises the Council's wonky ideas of what this city should be. The best way I know to describe this is "Not Newcastle". It should be abundantly clear to any informed observer that traffic congestion in cities cannot be solved, merely moved to somewhere else. Newcastle is a compact and attractive city in a great setting. Public transport, integrated and affordable is the solution.

There is a petition for objections and I urge you to sign. If you are so moved, you might contact the Council yourself. I am not going to bother. I have had no joy there ever.

The Petition can be found here.

Strangely, a previous study (2013) came up with a much better and cheaper idea. Detailks can be found here (pdf).

Once again Newcastle City Council's pledges to protect and guard this cities heritage is thrown under the, er, private motor car.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Freedom of the Park

 Origin: The Ouseburn running through the last part of the dene
before the culvert that takes it to the River Tyne

It's time to stop pretending that the piece of 'green space' I re-named 'Battlefield' is anything other than park and part of a continuous series of parks that follow the course of the Ouseburn as it makes its way through Newcastle to the River Tyne.

Ouseburn Park (off site link) is here to stay says I!

The Ouseburn culvert entrance

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Wet and wild

It's July. It's raining. What's new?

Still, let us look on the bright side if only metaphorically.

Having felled a large number of trees – almost certainly too many trees, – to make a cycle way over Battlefield the Beautiful, the Council turned up and rolled out a wild flower carpet ...

October 2015. Wild flower turf.

I expect to be believed when I say I admire the (mostly defunct) Environment (Parks and Gardens) Division of the Council. Believers to a man and woman they always seemed to me to be on the side of the angels. Yet, here I thought this a long shot. "All to be mud and bare soil soon" I thought grimly.

"Needs less maintenance" one gardener explained to me.

Happily, I was wrong. What a triumph!

More here: (Off site link)

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Browned off

It has been suggested that Newcastle's Green Belt has shrunk by 10 per cent, presumably since the Coalition government of 2010-15 relaxed planning regulations in favour of developers. They were naturally delighted to cash in on a publicly created asset for private gain.

The Campaign for Rural England has noticed.

Meanwhile, Newcastle City Council is doing it's best. What does that look like in practice?

Thursday, June 16, 2016

To Have And To Have Not

Timely reminder of how set on 'monetising' the Green Belt local and regional councils have become since 2010, ignoring post-industrial sites for the premium of "country living".

Wayne's World ...

The "gobby northerner" got it right.

Meanwhile Newcastle's planning officials are going to outline their plans to support the creation of an exclusive golf resort at what's left of Walsington Hall, ex-Grade II Listed and surrounding oak woodland.

Honesty is best but crime pays better.