Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Bubble or froth?

A Fallen Angel? From the article cited below.
It is a scene familiar to anyone who has walked around
Newcastle and Shieldfield in the past few years

Oh, dear! The news about the wave, tidal wave even, of speculative student dwelling construction, financed by off shore investor's and others, is not good.

More here;


The amount of such building in Newcastle in the last few years has been staggering. The need for social housing has not even been glanced at leave alone addressed. Instead, more and more schemes to build aspirational homes, frequently also bought by investor's continues. A salutary lesson in what happens when investment (sic) does just what it fancies.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Hanging on

February is the month that paces up and down like an expectant father. Spring has not arrived; it puts in fleeting hints on the edges of days only now showing signs of lengthening, albeit, very slowly and some days hardly any movement by the clock. Winter hangs on. It snaps back on days of wind, sleet and rain. "I'm not finished with you yet." We may see more snow.

A portrait then of the Battlefield on top of the Lower Ouseburn here. (off site link)

I began by snapping the slower progress of the new independent cinema, the Star and Shadow's replacement on Warwick Street. A faithful band of volunteers and a small grant are beginning to make a difference. The opening  date – never a fixed objective – has had to retreat. Maybe later this year the lights will go on and the doors open. I hope so.

Around the fringes of the Battlefield more student housing has gone up. More rapidly to consume the speculative money on offer while the going is good and the students are still rolling in to the universities. It  could have been worse; it could also have been a lot more interesting.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Droit du seigneur

Article on the B.B.C. about the Nunsmoor Allotments (deceased). Photograph above shows happier times. (Hat Tip: Greening Wingrove.)

The (unaccountable) Freemen have been given carte blanche by the ever compliant City Council (partners in the Great Leazes Park Scandal together with John Hall's United Sporting Club) to do what they want with the bulldozed allotments. After the 'dozers departed the field glinted with broken glass. I seriously doubt the top soil being spread now will prevent injury to grazing cattle if that is what is planned.

Allotments at Leazes Park and next to Fenham Hall Drive have been removed previously. What do the Freemen have in mind? Who knows. They don't say nor can they be compelled to say and the Council isn't asking in any case.

"The Freemen, which has grazing rights on the land, has not commented, but Newcastle Council said it could do what it "deemed fit" with the land."

Meanwhile an upperty serf objects!

"A tradition established in the 13th Century to allow Freemen to graze cows has now become so irrelevant in the 21st century that there needs to be a rethink."

Something Feudal still about this town ...

Friday, January 12, 2018

No Harm in Trying

Save Newcastle Wildlife ©  2018 Re-printed by kind permission.
Petition update

Urgent Action Required

Save Newcastle Wildlife
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom

12 Jan 2018 — Newcastle City Council today voted 10:1 in favour of plans for 1,200 houses adjacent to Havannah Nature Reserve.

Banks, Newcastle International Airport and Save Newcastle Wildlife spoke against the plans, which contravene local and national planning policy and will see inappropriate development in the Green Belt.

More here

Save Newcastle Wildlife website here

Anton Deque adds:

Planning permission was always going to be granted. But defeat is no shame if more people can be recruited to the cause. The if is because like most conservation groups S.N.W. needs to shift the axis of attack against all such developments away from the formal arena of planning appeals that are rigged in favour of developers towards a more popular kinds of action close to where people live and build as broad a base of supporters of open space and wildlife as possible against the day when the tide will turn in nature conservation's favour. Contrariwise perhaps to a nature conservation outlook, we should also develop an alternative house building strategy, one based on pressing need not greed.