Category Archives: Town planning

Ouseburn Valley - view of the farm fields and Byker Bridge.

Neighbourhood Forum and Area application

Ouseburn Futures has submitted an application to the City Council for the Ouseburn Valley Neighbourhood Forum to be approved, alongside an application for the Area to be covered by the Forum to be approved. This is the process we have to follow, as set out in the Localism Act 2011. Once the Neighbourhood Forum and its formal Area are approved, we can then start talking to our members, and to the people living beside the Valley, working in and visiting the Valley, about developing a Neighbourhood Plan for the Ouseburn Valley.

You can see the applications on this page on the Council’s website:

and this page tells you more about Neighbourhood Planning:

The Council is now carrying out formal consultation about the applications, as required by the Localism Act. We would be very pleased if all the members of Ouseburn Futures could write to express their views – hopefully to support our applications!

The closing date is February 29th 2016.  You can send your comments to or write to the City Council at Newcastle City Council, Planning Policy, 9th Floor, Civic Centre, Barras Bridge, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8QH.

Why are we applying to have a Neighbourhood Forum for the Ouseburn Valley?

Ouseburn Valley - view of the farm fields and Byker Bridge.

Ouseburn Valley – view of the farm fields and Byker Bridge.

Ouseburn Futures was charged over 2 years ago by Newcastle City Council with taking the lead in the implementation and monitoring of the Ouseburn Regeneration Plan. A key part of this is the physical development of the Valley. Ouseburn Futures has been happy to take the lead on looking strategically at development in the Valley, along with local councillors, and with support from council officers when they are able to.

This theme is important as one of the main unique selling points of the Ouseburn Valley is its physical character and its mix of uses. Too many poor developments or single use developments would destroy the vibrancy and attraction of the area, and lead to decline.

There is a long way to go before the regeneration of the valley is completed. We estimate that there are about 150 sites and buildings in Ouseburn, of which about a third remain to be developed. These include some larger sites whose impact on the area would be significant – for good or for bad – as well as numerous smaller sites and buildings, some of which have planning permission.

View across the Village Green to Lime Street.

View across the Village Green to Lime Street.

The Urban Core Plan and the current Ouseburn Regeneration Plan set high level strategic frameworks for development in the Ouseburn – mainly based on the mixed use Live/Work/Play/Learn themes – but there is not enough detail to be translated into any meaningful guidance for developers or owners of land. A Neighbourhood Plan would help us to provide that detailed thinking, and would have to be taken into account by the City Council in making planning decisions, and by developers in making proposals for developments in the area. It does not bind either party, and does not mean we decide what is going to be developed, but allows us to have influence over planning decisions in our area, by informing decisions about planning applications. Unwanted developments would be less likely, and good development would be more likely.

Tanners street trial 2015

Tanners street trial 2015

We also like the idea because a Neighbourhood Forum and Plan provides a good vehicle for engaging people. This in turn means not only having an influence in what happens in their area, but building community and social capital, and building links between people in different sectors, types of organisation and communities. We also envisage the spin-off benefit that it could lead to a stronger Ouseburn-wide community, able to work together to resolve issues before any become conflicts, to provide more support to each other (not-for-profit organisations, businesses and residents), and to work together on projects to provide good things for the whole community, across the whole Ouseburn Valley.

What do you think? Will you support the applications and support our ambition to involve as many people as possible in the development of the Valley? Please tell the Council what you think (and copy us in at ) by February 29th.

Ouseburn Viaduct.

Ouseburn Viaduct.

If the Neighbourhood Forum and Area applications are approved, we will then be able to consult people about what should go into the Neighbourhood Plan. The views of people who live around the Area will be as important as those of people who live within the Area specified in our application. We will also plan to talk to people in the businesses, community organisations and other workplaces in and around the Valley (including schools), and to visitors to the area. We will do this in a wide variety of ways so as to make it as easy as possible for everyone who wants to to get involved, and in a fun way!

But remember that to vote on the final shape of the Neighbourhood Plan, you will need to be a member of the Ouseburn Valley Neighbourhood Forum – do if you are not a member yet, join up now! Here’s the application form for individuals, and here is the one for organisations.


DIY Streets – March 2015 Consultation

We have now had an update from the Council on the plans and costs for the Ouseburn DIY Streets project, and there are three things we would like your feedback on:

  1. The proposals and the priorities

  • there are still some finer details to be worked out, but this is the last opportunity for you to comment on the location and general idea of each proposal
  • the Cycle City Ambition funding is limited, so based on past consultation we have identified three priorities that will make a big improvement to the safety and look of the area. The Council have indicated that there are likely to be more funds available in the near future so we’re continuing to design up all of the proposals to be ready to go when the opportunities appear.
  1. How to create a sense of place on the DIY Streets, using colour, design and street furniture

  2. Where to signpost a north-south cycle route through the Valley

Full details are given below – when you have had a look, please complete our survey to let us know what you think.

You can also come and talk to us about the plans at two drop-in sessions

  • Wednesday 25 March, 2.30-4.30pm at Ouseburn Farm
  • Thursday 26 March, 5.00-7.00pm at Ernest

There will be information available in Ouseburn Farm, Ernest and the Tanners from 23 March to 3 April 2015, when the consultation will close.

The proposals and the priorities

The plans are provided as pdfs for you to view or download – please click on the links to see them.

The overview plan shows the location of each proposal, the priorities and the second phase, as well as the proposed north-south cycle route through the Valley.

We also hope to be able to resurface footpaths on the focus streets, keeping them level across driveways so that it’s easier for people with pushchairs and wheelchairs.

01. Priority – Lime Street Stepney Bank corner

The aim here is to slow traffic coming around the corner of Stepney Bank and Lime Street where there is poor visibility and often horses and pedestrians crossing by widening the footpath and creating a raised table. This was the most popular idea during the Ouseburn Festival street trial, particularly the use of colour and design.

01. Phase 2 – Lime Street Seven Stories

The second raised table, outside Seven Stories, aims to create a better environment where school parties and families gather, by slowing down traffic and making a visual impact.

02. Priority – Boyd Street Stepney Road junction

The aims here are to establish a safe pedestrian route between Shieldfield Lane and Boyd Street/Stepney Road by narrowing down the over-sized junction, to create a colourful, sociable space at one of the key entrances to the Valley with bike parking and places to sit, and to clarify priority lines on the road to remove the current confusion for road users.

02. Phase 2 – Stepney Road narrowing

The aim here is to slow down traffic speeds, create a safe crossing point and widen the footpath where it is very narrow next to the bridge arch. We’ve found that there are a lot of people crossing in this location – either heading north/south along Stepney Road, travelling to Hotspur School and City Stadium, or taking horses up to the outdoor riding arena.

03. Priority – Crawhall Road Stepney Bank junction

This is another key entrance to the Valley and the main route to public transport and nearby homes. As a priority we are proposing wider footpaths at the top of the bank to create an attractive space for pedestrians, and to encourage road users to slow down.

03. Phase 2 – Stepney Bank

Plans for the second phase are to widen footpaths along the whole length of the street and resurface them so that they are level across driveway entrances, as well as identifying parking bays to stop pavement parking.

04. Phase 2 – Stepney Road Stepney Bank junction

This is also a really important junction as it is a key crossing point for families walking to school from local homes, is regularly used by people leading horses between the indoor and outdoor riding arenas, and can be difficult for cyclists, particularly if they are travelling up the bank and turning into Stepney Road. Therefore the aim here is to slow vehicle speeds and make crossing safer for everyone.

Creating a sense of place

The Ouseburn is many things to many people. The mix of industry, creative enterprise and nature within such a small area makes it unique to the region and its rich history further adds to its charm. As well as improving the layout of the streets we want to reflect this character by making the streets more colourful and creating spaces for people.

There are some examples of what we could do on Lime Street, Boyd Street and Stepney Bank, and we are very open to your ideas.

 North-South cycle route

The Council would like to signpost a cycle friendly route through the Valley connecting the City Stadium cycle path in the north to Hadrian’s Way along the quayside to the south.

We would like all of the roads in the area to feel safe enough to cycle along, and as part of this we’re hoping to see a 20mph speed limit brought in, but if we need to identify a route we’d suggest the one shown on the overview plan in red – Portland Road South, Stepney Road, (with the option for an off-road short cut here down through the woodland paths), Stepney Bank, down past the Farm, over the wooden footbridge to Foundry Lane, across at the Byker Bank lights, along Ford Street or Hume Street depending on how things settle down with the Malings development, to Maling Street and out onto Quayside Road.



Parking in Ouseburn – proposals to charge & limit time

Ouseburn Valley Parking Map proposals March 2015 (click to see/download larger pdf version).

Ouseburn Valley Parking Map proposals March 2015 (click to see larger version).

Download or view the Ouseburn Valley Parking Map proposals March 2015 pdf version (larger and more readable).

The Council is carrying out a review of parking in the Valley and proposing measures to stop city centre commuter parking here, including introducing pay and display parking in some places, limiting the time that people can park, and permit parking for residents and businesses.

The first part of Ouseburn they are tackling is the central area, and they are asking for feedback on the proposed scheme by 26th March 2015. You can see proposals and give feedback several ways:

  • online on Let’s Talk Newcastle (you do have to register)
  • or look at the display about the proposals at Ouseburn Farm (open 9.30am to 3.30pm 7 days a week) and fill in a feedback form;
  • or attend one of the drop in sessions on Tuesday 17th March 2015 at which council staff will be present to answer any questions – Ouseburn Farm from 2.30pm to 4.30pm and at Arch 6, Stepney Bank (Ouseburn Trust) from 5pm to 6.30pm.
  • or send your comments to us (see our contact us page) and we will pass them on.

Overview of the proposals by Newcastle City Council

The following text is from the Let’s Talk Newcastle website page on this proposal with a link to the Ouseburn DIY Streets page added in (the relevant map is at the top of this page).

The Council is carrying out a review of parking in the Lower Ouseburn Valley in response to issues raised by residents, businesses and visitors, and to manage the effect of current and future development in the area. Space is limited and we need to make sure it meets local needs as much as possible.

Research has shown that most parking spaces are full during the day from Monday to Friday, that a lot of people park in the Valley and walk into the city centre, and that parking in certain locations is creating safety issues.

In order to address these issues we would like to start by introducing a set of short, medium and long stay waiting restrictions. These will sit alongside wider aims to:

  • support people travelling to the area on foot, by bike and by public transport, for example through physical improvements as proposed in the Ouseburn DIY Streets project;
  • identify possible locations for additional off-street parking

We will be looking at the area in three stages – the central area around Village Green, the northern area around Stepney Bank and Boyd Street, and the southern area towards the mouth of the Ouseburn.

This initial round of consultation will focus on the central area, and there will be more discussion in future on the detailed proposals for the northern and southern areas. The broad proposals for the central area are to introduce:

  • Free short stay spaces
  • Permit parking for residents (£25 per year for first permit, £75 for second) and businesses (£170 per year per business for the first two permits, rising for additional permits)
  • Pay and display at 40p per hour, limited to a four hour stay on-street, and requiring topping up after four hours at off-street spaces, to deter city centre commuter parking
  • Mandatory disabled parking bays in convenient locations
  • A specified coach drop-off point for local venues
  • Electric car charging points
  • A car-club bay

We hope to be able to agree the proposals for the central area in April 2015. We would then need to go through a full statutory process, and the changes would be introduced by October 2015. It would be a similar 6-8 month process for each of the following stages, but we could overlap some of this work and aim to have everything in place by April 2016. This survey will be open from 9 to 26 March 2015.

If you want to read the background to these proposals, you can view or download the full version of the review:


Have your say on Lower Ouseburn Valley developments

View Larger Map

Carillion-igloo have commissioned a Commonplace map and feedback tool (see above) to enable you to see their latest development proposals and to comment on them.

Screenshot showing the Commonplace page for Lower Steenberg's Yard proposal.

Screenshot showing the Commonplace page for Lower Steenberg’s Yard proposal.

One of the first sites to feature on it is Lower Steenberg’s Yard, following a week of exhibiting the designs for it in Ouseburn at the Toffee Factory, xsite architecture, and Ernest. If you didn’t have a chance to see the design and comment on it when the displays were up, you can now see it and say what you think online.

The Malmo Quay proposals, currently at an earlier stage in the design process, are also available. The designs will be added to the page as they are developed so you can give feedback.

Screenshot of the Commonplace page for proposals for Malmo Quay, Newcastle upon Tyne.

Screenshot of the Commonplace page for Malmo Quay, Newcastle upon Tyne.

Each comment added is shown on the map, so you can read what other people think about the designs. Carillion-igloo will read the comments and feed them back into the development of the designs.

We hope lots of people will take the opportunity to look at the designs, comment on them, share them with everyone they know who is interested in Ouseburn.

Coquet Street development

The developers have submitted a new planning application to Newcastle City Council to develop blocks of student accommodation at Coquet Street. The design has changed since the last application for this site.

You can view the application – reference number 2013/0230/01/DET on the Newcastle City Council website.

The Ouseburn Futures Planning and Development Group will discuss it at their next meeting on 25th March 2013.

Planning applications

The Malings

'The Malings' site.

‘The Malings’ site.

The Chair of Newcastle City Council’s Planning Committee had to cast the deciding vote on 4th January when councillors were split over the application to build 76 new homes on the East bank of the Ouseburn, a site formerly occupied by the Ice Factory and Heaney Works (site shown in the picture above).

The developers, Carillion Igloo gained approval to build The Malings (name inspired by the Maling Pottery, built there in the early 19th century). The architect for the scheme is Ash Sakula.

Coquet Street student accommodation development

The Planning Committee had approved on 14th December the renewal of the approval for the Coquet Street student accommodation development.

More information:

The Malings plans can be seen on the Newcastle City Council Planning website.

Ouseburn Valley homes are given the go-ahead, The Journal, 7th January 2013.

Coquet Street student accommodation development plans can be seen on the Newcastle City Council Planning website.