Newcastle Great Park aerial view
Located on the northern edge of Newcastle and five miles from the city centre, Newcastle Great Park continues to be a success story for sustainable lifestyles. The site came into being in early 2000 following its allocation in the Newcastle Urban Development Plan as critical to help halt the city’s population migration and Persimmon Homes North East has played a central role in its development. Since then it has become one of Persimmon’s most successful developments with around 1,750 homes completed and 2,000 more to come.
Newcastle Great Park SuDS (centre)
Newcastle Great Park is a mixed use development that will eventually result in a sustainable community with a population in excess of 10,000 residents and an onsite workforce of over 3,000. Essential infrastructure has been in place from an early stage to provide focal points that will enhance social cohesion and nurture a growing sense of community. A busy and active Community Centre is well established as is a primary school and sports fields. The Community Centre is now the venue for the four active residents’ associations plus many other valuable groups which contribute to community spirit and cohesion.
Newcastle Great Park has become a desirable postcode and place of choice for families. The site extends to a total of 1,200 acres of which half is high quality open space. The latter is a major attraction and benefit to residents, delivering a range of uses including playing fields, play areas, walking routes, ecology habitats, woodlands and areas of wetlands that form Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SuDS). These SuDS play an essential role in helping deliver wonderful landscape features and habitats but also limit the volume of surface water discharging into adjoining watercourses. Newcastle Great Park goes one step further and delivers flood risk improvements designed and operated to reduce the risk of flooding downstream. The system allows the River Ouseburn to overtop into the wetlands. Newcastle Great Park SuDS are an excellent example of Sustainable Drainage and this was recognised in the open space being shortlisted for a Royal Town PIanning Institute award in 2015.
Subsided public transport
In addition, this development delivers huge benefits in terms of sustainable transport. Over 25km of walking, cycling and equestrian routes will be provided and the development has already delivered a subsidised direct bus service to Newcastle City and Quayside. The latter allows residents, those working on the park or indeed people using the Park and Ride to leave their car and have the benefit of a quicker route to and from the City, Quayside and the various transport hubs. The bus service is recognised by the local transport authority and bus companies are now keen to operate on the Park.
“Managing flood risk from new development is one of our key priorities and has a significant impact on our customers. Modern techniques such as the inclusion of SuDS form a vital part of how developers, planners, lead local flood authorities and water companies can successfully manage those risks. The SuDS at Newcastle Great Park are an excellent early example of how working in partnership can create long term solutions to reduce flood risk and enable development which impacts positively on our region. The effectiveness of these SuDS has been put to the test during episodes of significant rainfall and their success is one which we hope can be expanded to many other projects across the city.”
Richard Warneford, Wastewater Director