THE £12m regeneration of the Ouseburn Valley in Newcastle has inched a step closer after 76 new homes were given the green light by councillors.
Flats to be built on land at the former Ice Factory and Heany Works site will end a decade-long campaign to bring residential housing to the city’s riverside area.
However, business owners fear an influx of families could spell disaster for their long-term future as they predict “inevitable” complaints about noise.
At a meeting of Newcastle City Council’s planning committee, approval was granted to regeneration company Carillion-igloo on the chair’s casting vote after councillors were split over the decision.
The mixture of one, two and three- bedroom apartments and two, three and four-bedroom houses – known as the Malings – will be laid out in five terraces and staggered by height down to the River Tyne.
David Roberts, director of igloo, said: “This is a development that will bring a lasting legacy and is an outstanding example of 21st-Century living.”
More planning applications will be submitted by the company at the site in the coming months as part of a £12m scheme to bring housing, new public spaces and the development of Malmo Quay, the partial redevelopment of Spiller’s Quay, and the creation of a commercial hub at Lower Steenburg’s Yard.
Owner of the Tyne Bar, Fred Plater, whose pub sits 50 yards from the site for the homes, objected to the plans over fears residents’ complaints about noise could lead to some of his music gigs being cancelled.
He said: “The gigs we stage have become a local – if not national – institution and have done a lot to spread the word of the Ouseburn Valley, but they will be confined to history if the development goes ahead in its current form.
“Any purchase of a property in the Malings will be disturbed by live music up until 11pm on eight occasions a year and in the summer evenings they will hear drinkers until 1am.
“I personally would not want to live there.”
Newcastle City Councils’s development manager, Matthew Atkins, who presented the application to the committee, confirmed that if there were complaints from residents it might be necessary for “external music to be turned down”.
An objection was also made by timber merchant Mark Fawcett, of Quay Timber, over fears noise from his business would constitute a nuisance in the opinion of new residents.
However, Mr Roberts, of igloo, said: “Music will thrive. We will encourage live events to continue to take place and some might take place within the development. One attraction for people living here is live music, so we would be foolish to encourage that to wither and die.”
Labour councillor Nick Kemp, who represents the Byker ward where the development will be built, raised concerns that 56 parking spaces weren’t enough to cater for the residents of 76 homes.
He also agreed with Fred Plater of the Tyne Bar that most people leaving the pub late at night will not walk into the city centre but directly through the new development into Heaton, Jesmond and Sandyford.
Discussions for a housing development in the Ouseburn Valley started when the former ice factory was demolished in 2000.
In 2003, the Ouseburn Valley Regeneration Strategy was created and identified the area for development as an urban village. Plans for 112 flats were submitted.
However, a public inquiry in 2007 upheld Newcastle City Council’s decision to refuse permission for offices and residential use on the site.
Carillion-igloo submitted plans for 76 homes in October 2012.