Tag Archives: Newcastle City Council

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:

http://www.newcastle.gov.uk/planning-and-buildings/planning-policy/neighbourhood-planning/neighbourhood-plan/ouseburn-valley-neighbourhood-area

and this page tells you more about Neighbourhood Planning:

http://www.newcastle.gov.uk/planning-and-buildings/planning-policy/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 neighbourhoodplanning@newcastle.gov.uk 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 info@ouseburnfutures.org.uk ) 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.

 

Painted area where we would like a raised roadway by the entrance to Ouseburn Farm and by the Village Green.

DIY Streets trial at Ouseburn Festival

The DIY Streets team had a busy time during the Ouseburn Festival on 5th and 6th July 2014. People from Ouseburn Futures, xsite architecture, Sustrans, Roots and Wings, and Newcastle City Council – + 3 volunteers from Gentoo – worked together on Saturday to create a temporary transformation to test out the ideas on redesigning parts of Stepney Road, Stepney Bank and Lime Street.

Thank you very much to everyone who helped to create the trial designs, and to everyone who talked to us and gave their feedback over the weekend. It was really helpful and will help us in designing better streets. It was also great fun to do something that big and bold that made people look and think!

First, the road signs and cones were put out. These are on Stepney Road.

First, the road signs and cones were put out. These are on Stepney Road.

The street had to be measured to make sure that the cones were in the correct place and that the remaining vehicle access was wide enough.

The street had to be measured to make sure that the cones were in the correct place and that the remaining vehicle access was wide enough.

A temporary priority system for vehicles was set up on Stepney Rd.

A temporary priority system for vehicles was set up on Stepney Rd.

A temporary priority system for vehicles was set up on Stepney Rd.

A temporary priority system for vehicles was set up on Stepney Rd.

Measuring the width of the street where the temporary narrowing was to be placed.

Measuring the width of the street where the temporary narrowing was to be placed.

The trees were growing low over the path, making it difficult to walk on the pavement, so some branches needed pruning.

The trees were growing low over the path, making it difficult to walk on the pavement, so some branches needed pruning.

Two of the Ouseburn DIY Streets team, Paul and Cath, demonstrate that it's now possible to walk along the pavement.

Two of the Ouseburn DIY Streets team, Paul and Cath, demonstrate that it’s now possible to walk along the pavement.

 

Temporary reshaping of the Stepney Road junction onto Stepney Bank.

Temporary reshaping of the Stepney Road junction onto Stepney Bank.

Temporary reshaping of Stepney Bank at the junction with Stepney Road.

Temporary reshaping of Stepney Bank at the junction with Stepney Road.

Preparing to paint Lime Street.

Preparing to paint Lime Street.

 

Someone put their handprints onto the pavement on Stepney Road.

Someone put their handprints onto the pavement on Stepney Road.

We put up the Sustrans pagoda on Lime St, with hay bales for people to sit on and a temporary bike stand next to us.

We put up the Sustrans pagoda on Lime St, with hay bales for people to sit on and a temporary bike stand next to us.

Nita from site architecture did a display about the proposals with feedback space.

Nita from site architecture did a display about the proposals with feedback space.

People could put coloured dots on a scale of whether they really disliked or really liked the proposals for the junctions.

People could put coloured dots on a scale of whether they really disliked or really liked the proposals for the junctions.

This painted section with red unicorn by Seven Stories and 36 Lime Street Gallery is an area we think should be raised.

This painted section with red unicorn by Seven Stories and 36 Lime Street Gallery is an area we think should be raised.

Ouseburn Futures takes charge of Regneration Plan

Councillor Henri Murison, David Slater (Director of Environment & Regeneration, Newcastle City Council), Pam Briggs (Chair, Ouseburn Trust), Sue Bright (Chair, Ouseburn Futures). Photo by John Hipkin.

Councillor Henri Murison, David Slater (Director of Environment & Regeneration, Newcastle City Council), Pam Briggs (Chair, Ouseburn Trust), Sue Bright (Chair, Ouseburn Futures). Photo by John Hipkin.

Ouseburn was in the news today* as Newcastle City Council formally handed over ownership of the area’s regeneration plan to Ouseburn Futures. The photograph above shows Councillor Henri Murison; David Slater, Director of Environment & Regeneration for Newcastle City Council; Pam Briggs, Chair, The Ouseburn Trust; Sue Bright, Chair of Ouseburn Futures Coordinating Group at the signing event at the Toffee Factory in Ouseburn [photographer: John Hipkin].

Local businesses and groups are set to oversee the regeneration of the Ouseburn Valley, in a transfer of powers from Newcastle City Council.

The council will devolve ownership of the area’s regeneration plan and associated funds to Ouseburn Futures; an independent body formed last summer to drive progress in the area with local businesses, organisations and individuals at the helm.

As a successor to the old Ouseburn Management Board, Ouseburn Futures will focus on improving the social, economic and physical aspects of the Valley in partnership with Newcastle City Council and other groups with interests in the Valley.

A small regeneration fund will also be handed over, to be administered by Ouseburn Futures with help from the Ouseburn Trust, with an agreement to use the funds to further develop the area’s facilities and reputation as a place where creative companies come to do business.

Councillor Henri Murison, Cabinet Member for Quality of Life, said: “The devolution of powers and funds to local organisations makes sense in the context of the area’s ongoing regeneration.

“The city council has helped bring these organisations together with a shared vision for the future of this area. So much has already been achieved in the last 15 years to transform the post-industrial Ouseburn into a much-loved destination for culture, leisure and business, while building on the area’s unique character. The council is open to working in new ways to keep the improvements coming – and we envisage a clear role for Ouseburn Futures to drive the future phases of regeneration with the council as an equal partner. Who better to look after the future of the area than the people who already live and work here?”

Sue Bright, Chair Ouseburn Futures, said: “This is an important milestone for all those who have been involved in nurturing and creating this unique neighbourhood in our city. We would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the support of Newcastle City Council and The Ouseburn Trust and the hard work of the many businesses, groups, individuals and others who have been involved over the years in reaching this point in the regeneration of Ouseburn.

We hope that this new group, Ouseburn Futures, will continue to attract new members (people living or working in the Ouseburn Valley, or those who visit it) who want to be involved in shaping its future through getting involved in our themed groups. Details of future themed meetings can be found on our website: www.ouseburnfutures.org.uk where you will also find out more about what we do and other ways to get in touch.”

  1. *Hugh Macknight, ‘Newcastle Council’s Transfer of Ouseburn Regeneration Plan,’ Sky Tyne & Wear, 27th February, 2013.
  2. *‘Locals take charge of Ouseburn’s Future,’ Newcastle City Council, 1st March 2013.