Kingston Park: Postcode NE3 2RD
Where is it? Bing map||Geograph grid ref NZ2168
Kingston Park is a large estate on the western outskirts of Newcastle dating from the 1970s. It has a mixture of housing including some low-rise flats, terraces, semi-detached and detached houses, all with planted open space and plenty of parking. The western bypass, renamed the A1, cuts the Gosforth and Fawdon parts of NE3 from Kingston Park, which lies to the west of the A1. Between the main area of housing and the A1 lies the airport industrial estate. Parts of Kingston Park originally had names such as Ouseburn Park and Tudor Grange, but these seem to be falling out of general use.
Kingston Park is an 1970s suburb on the western edge of the city. Original residents, who bought their houses as new, say they looked out over fields and there were very few buses. That sense of “almost living in the countryside” has certainly gone. The suburb is connected by Metro to the city centre and the airport, and in 1990 the A1 western bypass opened on the area’s doorstep. The area remains popular because of a good supply of relatively affordable family housing with garden space, good transport links (the Metro station and to the A1) and good quality local schools.
Originally there was a single shopping centre, aimed at local residents, with a small supermarket, a butchers, opticians, pharmacy and post office, plus a pub. Later Tesco built a larger supermarket over the road from the shopping centre, which caused Presto to close. As the shopping area grew, a new hypermarket Tesco Extra was constructed on land next to the 1980s brick-barn style supermarket closer to the Metro station which Tesco subsequently demolished (now part of the car park) . The small shopping centre, with its focus on local needs, has now been completely redeveloped and has a major Marks & Spencer store.
For more about retail change at the edge see: http://newcastleareas.wordpress.com/kingston-park/kingston-park-retail-change/
Kingston Park’s new neighbour is the Great Park development which is blamed by local residents for the sudden expansion of retailing at Kingston Park and the associated increase in traffic. Brunton Road marks the northern edge of Kingston Park and the southern edge of the Great Park. At the time it was proposed, the council described the ‘park’ as a strategic investment site. Many protested at this greenfield development on green belt land.
There are now plans to create a proper town centre for the Great Park:
“The multiple use town centre is centered around a new supermarket with North to South pedestrian boulevard, market square and links to the surrounding housing and strategic open space. In the town centre it is planned that high street style shops, cafes and restaurants will provide for the needs of the new community.” http://www.newcastle.gov.uk/people-and-communities/where-you-live/newcastle-great-park
- Newcastle Great Park http://www.newcastlegreatpark.com/
- Newcastle Council Great Park page http://www.newcastle.gov.uk/people-and-communities/where-you-live/newcastle-great-park
One Core Strategy
Other significant proposed changes are in the One Core Strategy – a joint plan for the future of Newcastle and Gateshead. This suggests a number of things that would affect those living at Kingston Park and have attracted protests from residents.
- New housing in a growth zone on the western edge of the city (e.g. 6,500 houses on the Green Belt at Callerton Park)
- A new bypass from Throckley to the A1 via the Great Park
The proposals are still being considered and reshaped following consultation. They have attracted active protests – for example around 200 people attended a protest ramble on the edge of the city in August 2012.
Retired teacher Sandy Irvine, 62, of Gosforth, a member of the Newcastle Green Party, said: “It is important to protect the region’s green belt land. The council’s housing plans will mean, if not stopped, there will be a continuous sprawl from the Tyne Bridge to the far side of Ponteland. Then there is the proposed new road paralleling the A1. This would mean damage to wildlife habitats, more congestion and an increase in traffic and noise pollution.”
Newcastle Council One Core Strategy page http://www.newcastle.gov.uk/planning-and-buildings/planning/consultation-newcastle-gateshead-core-strategy-and-urban-core-area-a
Gateshead Council One Core page http://www.gateshead.gov.uk/Building%20and%20Development/PlanningpolicyandLDF/LocalDevelopmentFramework/DevelopmentPlanDocuments/GatesheadandNewcastleJointDocuments/OneCoreStrategy.aspx
Newcastle West Green Belt campaign group website http://www.nwgreenbelt.org.uk/