Important cultural views in and around the iconic Newcastle-Gateshead Quayside could be damaged if a 17-story, 300-bed hotel complex is approved by Gateshead Council later this year, local campaigners say.
Members of the ‘Believe in a Better Gateshead Quays’ group say the ‘large, imposing and uninspiring’ hotel block would disrupt the look of one of the most recognisable sites in the region, overshadowing the nationally recognised Millennium Bridge, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and Sage Gateshead concert venue on the River Tyne.
They refer to design principles set out in the Tyne Gorge Study, a document which was produced by Land Use Consultants for Newcastle and Gateshead Councils and English Heritage in 2003. It states that any new built development that is ‘overly large in scale’ or that could ‘compete for attention with existing landmarks such as the Baltic and the Sage Gateshead’ would be considered as threats to the character of this area.
Claiming the hotel would threaten the iconic landscape because of its height, location and lack of architectural merit, they are urging local people to view the planning proposals and submit comments online before Gateshead Council’s consultation period ends on 16 October 2020.
Their concerns echo those of residents across the river, who were successful in forcing a review of a proposed residential development at St. Ann’s Quay, which was also not sympathetic to the principles set out in the Tyne Gorge Study.
The hotel is proposed as part of the Gateshead Quays arena plans, submitted by joint partners ASK:Patrizia and Gateshead Council earlier this year. The Gateshead Quays plans were revised in September, but no significant changes were made to the hotel.
140 objections have already been formally made against the Gateshead Quays plans.
Baltic Quays resident and Director of Baltic Quays Leaseholds Ltd, Peter Bauckham, said: “This instantly recognisable location which is frequently used as a backdrop to symbolise the wider region, deserves a superb development.
“We do not want to see all the good work, care and attention that has gone into creating a visually interesting place to live and visit, ruined by a huge slab of a hotel which does not take important design principles into consideration.
“I am urging anyone who cares about our Quayside heritage and who has pride in being from Newcastle-Gateshead, to log onto Gateshead Council’s planning pages and submit their comments before 16 October.”
Another local resident and objector said: “Our concerns have not been listened to by ASK:Patrizia and Gateshead Council. There are so many issues with the hotel design, on both a region-wide cultural scale, but also on a local, community scale.
“We love living in this location and all we are asking for is the hotel design to be given due scrutiny by the developer and decision makers to ensure it is in line with the principles set out in the Tyne Gorge Study.”
People who support the campaign can find out more here and can view the plans for themselves on Gateshead Council’s planning pages Planning Reference Number DC/20/00323/FUL.