The historic Freight Depot site in central Gateshead that has stood vacant for 25 years could be about to go through a huge redevelopment. A planning application for 300 new homes on the former freight site, off the Felling Bypass, has been submitted by Gateshead Regeneration Partnership to planners at Gateshead Council.
A public consultation event was recently held at Gateshead Stadium to present the development proposals for the Freight Depot site. The plans were well received by local people who are keen to see the brownfield site developed for new homes.
The plans include a wide variety of properties to buy and rent, including 60 apartments in three blocks, and 240 two, three and four bed homes. The layout also accommodates a community hub and well-designed landscaping and open areas, allowing access through the site for pedestrians and cyclists.
Around 15% of the proposed new homes would be allocated for affordable rent, through Home Group. There would also be homes for private rent, available through one of the nation’s leading providers; and 155 homes for market sale, through Vistry Partnership’s housebuilding division, Linden Homes.
The new homes for sale would all meet Building for Life, Code for Sustainable Homes level 3 and Lifetime Homes standards – meaning they would be suitable for all, including those of restricted mobility and can be adapted as people’s needs change. They would also have much larger rooms, higher levels of energy efficiency and greater environmental performance than the average new build home.
Christine Curran, Development Director for GRP, said: “Our aim is to create a vibrant and sustainable community close to the heart of Gateshead. If permission to regenerate this disused brownfield site is granted, we are sure that our ambitious plans to deliver high quality housing options will play a big part in supporting the revitalisation of the town centre.
“Close to excellent transport links, the Gateshead Quays and Newcastle Quayside, the proposed site offers an exciting opportunity to improve the breadth and availability of new homes in the area.”
The proposed development would be part of a £350 million project being driven by the Gateshead Regeneration Partnership (GRP).
GRP comprises Gateshead Council, construction and regeneration specialist Vistry Partnerships North and affordable housing provider Home Group. Its vision is to create around 2,000 new homes on 16 sites across the borough.
As well as improving housing quality and choice, the initiative is providing job and training opportunities – a minimum of 25% of which go to local people – and an economic uplift – a quarter of the supply budget is committed to businesses within the borough.
Sean Egan, Managing Director with Vistry Partnerships in the North East, said: “The old freight depot site offers a unique opportunity to establish a housing lead regeneration project close to the centre of the town. Should the planning application be successful, I’m confident the homes we want to create here will not only bring new people to the area but prove a popular choice with locals – as the partnership’s award winning project in Saltwell has done.
“At Trilogy I – which was recognised as the country’s Best Regeneration Project of more than 71 homes at the Inside Housing Awards 2018 – over 76% of buyers moved less than five miles to their new home. With the wide selection of housing provision planned for this new site, I’m sure we can deliver similar positive results.”
GRP is already building homes in Gateshead. Construction of the first group of sites – in Saltwell, Deckham and Birtley – will be completed in the summer. Work on the second group of sites is underway at Kelvin Grove, Saltwell, with 46 family homes for private sale and six for affordable rent being constructed. Work is soon to start on a site at Rowlands Gill, on 23 private sale homes. Finally, a site at Whitehills Drive, in Windy Nook, is due to commence next month and will see a further 39 homes available for sale. Properties at all three developments will be sold via Linden Homes.