Saturday, November 15, 2008

Portland Green Revisited

Developers Metnor Property Group and partner Northumbria University have decided to produce "modified" proposals to place before Newcastle City Council for rubber stamping. Given the very brief time between the first public consultation and this one (14th–15th November) I imagine the 'modifications' to be somewhat cosmetic.

The decision to build a student housing ghetto on the former paint factory will go ahead.

But what I want to know is this:

When did the battlefield stroke City Stadium open space become the feifdom of the two proponents of this all embracing scheme?

When did our local councillors agree to allow the developers to include the open space in their plans?


Unless something amazing happens we will soon see another example of what passes for 'the planning process' in this northern outpost of insider dealing.

Until then, enjoy the 'threatening' open space while you are able.


Anonymous said...

It must have taken sometime to find those lovely pictures which have been posted. However most of the former rubbish-tip site is a mess. While the park offers a great area to relax, most of the area looks like the aftermath of a war zone. Also the few nice parts will not be effect by the new project. Yes an extra few blocks in view, which lets face it would look a lot nicer the ones all ready near.

Student housing in the area would create more income into the area, improve the social services for all to enjoy and lower to cost of over priced housing in student areas. This saving would be passed onto new families wishing to start a home, impossible when competing against prices for houses that could be rented to students for a lot more money then they value.

While also it is easy to pass it off as a student housing ghetto only project, you should remember that it also includes the creation of a new doctors, cafes, shops and officers.

Finally on the note of 'Ghetto'. A lot of this area is all ready a ghetto without the help of students. This is really offensive that an area with a high level of drugs, robbery and un-employment, can blame students for they own short comings.

Anton Deque said...

Thank you for your thoughtful comments.

I did not mean to be offensive. Indeed, I welcome students whose contribution has been vital economically and yet have also brought to this city something it lacked before: A compopolitan dimension! I do feel it is a mistake (born of prejudice in fact!) to house students in what afterall are barracks. The 'ghetto' jibe is put not against students but those who feel they need to be 'seen and not heard'!

We do have problems. Litter is bad. Crime is often aimed at young people, a fact which old people sometimes ignore; yet, I myself have had a nasty moment on the street and I share your concerns. But there are worse areas and most people living around the site are decent. It is always a minority who cause trouble. However, I do not see how turning the site into a car park or 'priviledged' space will help solve social problems and no one has explained to me how this can be done through "landscaping".

Thank you once again.