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Newcastle Great Park Community Centre

Newcastle Great Park Community Centre

The development of Newcastle Great Park arose from a desire to meet housing and business needs through the creation of a sustainable new community with all the necessary supporting infrastructure and facilities.

In this way, the economy and social capital of the Newcastle conurbation would benefit from being better placed to retain and attract people and families of all ages.

Artist’s impression of Persimmon’s new regional North East headquarters

Artist’s impression of Persimmon’s new regional North East headquarters

The site is only four miles from the city centre and has excellent regional, national and international connectivity being adjacent to the A1 and only a couple of miles from Newcastle International Airport. The original plans envisaged the creation of 2,500 homes and a 200-acre business and industrial park, which would form a ‘new town’ on the edge of Newcastle. Its genesis required strong vision and commitment from developers and a close partnership working with the local planners. Over the last 20 years Persimmon has invested significant financial resources – along with our knowledge, experience and high level commitment to deliver the substantial up front and ongoing infrastructure costs to transform the development into a vibrant community

Early visioning plans for Newcastle Great Park

Early visioning plans for Newcastle Great Park.

Establishment

Using all our experience we identified exactly how we could bring the vision to reality. This entailed careful planning and phasing of infrastructure, housing and community facilities to create a community of choice for people to live in. Housebuilding commenced in 2001 and included the early provision of a new, dedicated bus service linking the development with the city centre and a nearby Metro Station, and a Park and Ride facility, which worked in tandem with the new bus service. We also provided substantial funding to upgrade the road infrastructure including a new junction on the A1. The development incorporates extensive Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) and public open space. A major factor in the success of the scheme was securing the presence of a large multinational software company as anchor for the business park.

Sustainable Urban Drainage System at Newcastle Great Park

Sustainable Urban Drainage System at Newcastle Great Park

Creation of place

A new mixed-use town centre forms the heart of Newcastle Great Park and underpins its sustainability. Retail units, office use and specialist housing have been delivered to date. Critically for residents, a new community centre, first school and nursery have all also been successfully delivered. Over half of the 1,200 acres of Newcastle Great Park are landscaped. Neighbourhoods with different character sit within a large country park designed for recreation and ecology. So far, over 20 kilometres of strategic pedestrian, cycle and equestrian routes have been delivered – these are well used and highly popular with residents.

Newcastle Great Park has become an established place of choice to live and work with over 2,000 homes and 42,000sqm of office space delivered. Over its lifetime, Newcastle Great Park has successfully adapted to market signals and conditions. Housing range and choice has been widened as the site has matured to meet the diverse needs of its current and future residents. For example, part of Newcastle Great Park has now been developed for high, medium and low density housing including 40 self-build plots while elsewhere a further 1,200 homes and education facilities will be delivered over the coming years. In addition to increased provision for primary school pupils, the latter will include a new high school for the north of the city.

New housing and children’s play area

New housing and children’s play area.

The new homes and schools work in synergy and will also provide further population and footfall to help grow and support the town centre. We have also chosen to locate our new North East office in the Newcastle Great Park town centre – providing a further boost to the local economy and demonstrating our confidence in it.

By around 2030, Newcastle Great Park will have delivered approximately 4,500 homes in a new community which is supported by a mix of uses and all the necessary community facilities. It is only fitting that Persimmon’s regional headquarters will sit at the heart of the community it has helped to shape over a period of 30 years.