Urban Landscape Study of Tyne Gorge

Planning decisions in the Tyne Gorge are informed by a holistic character study
©English Heritage

Region: North East

Owner Type: Many

Funding Body: English Heritage; Newcastle City Council; Gateshead Council

Year of Intervention: 1997

Summary: Urban Landscape Study of Tyne Gorge: A study to help direct development along the historically important section of the Tyne Gorge.

Description: As part of the current ongoing debate about the merits or otherwise of further tall buildings in Newcastle, the City Council's Development Control Committee approved for consultation in March 2002 a discussion paper on this topic. Emerging from the various apparently conflicting responses to the consultation exercise on tall buildings was a degree of consensus about the need for specific and separate examination of the Tyne Gorge to include the southern bank in Gateshead.
Issue: In July 2002 English Heritage, who had strongly advocated the need for a study to examine in detail the distinctive character of the Gorge before considering further major developments tall or otherwise within it, approached the City Council offering to commission a study.
Strategy: The Urban Landscape Study of the Tyne Gorge was subsequently jointly commissioned in September 2002 by English Heritage, Newcastle City Council and Gateshead Council together with the Commission of Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE). Its purpose was to help direct development along the very sensitive and historically important section of the Tyne Gorge around the bridges. The consultants brief was to: 1) define the extent of the study area; 2) analyse the historical development of the Gorge and its two settlements, Newcastle and Gateshead; 3) undertake a visual analysis of the Gorge; 4) indicate the importance of different areas of the Gorge; 5) identify threats and opportunities within the Gorge; 6) indicate principles for the protection and development of the Gorge in the future
Outcome: The report has been produced and can now be used by Newcastle and Gateshead local authorities to assist their planning function and promote future development opportunities within the area covered by the study. Future decisions can be underpinned by a clear understanding of what makes the character of the Tyne Gorge distinctive and unique. All partners welcomed this initiative and have since adopted the report in the preparation of their policies to help develop planning guidance and inform the decision-making process on planning applications. The Urban Landscape Study of Tyne Gorge is also a significant piece of work that English Heritage and CABE can refer to when making recommendations on development proposals. It is an excellent example of co-operation and collaboration and is also publicly available.


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