Gosforth: Postcode NE3 1AD

Where is it? Bing map || Ward profile || StreetCheck || Geograph grid refs NZ2467  NZ2468  NZ2470 

gosforth high st
Gosforth High Street – a main bus route with mid-nineteenth century buildings (May 2014)

Historical development

Until 1988 Gosforth High Street was the main A1 north-south route. The western bypass, now renamed the A1, cuts the Gosforth and Fawdon parts of NE3 from Kingston Park, which lies to the west of the A1.  Despite this there continue to be issues managing the current volume of traffic in Gosforth.  The Great North Road from London to Edinburgh passed along Gosforth High Street and the street still has hotels and inns dating from the coaching era. Although a suburb of Newcastle from Victorian times, Gosforth was actually quite a large separate urban district in Northumberland with its own town hall.  Gosforth only became officially part of the City of Newcastle in 1974 following local government reorganisation.  Gosforth schools have a different structure to most of the rest of the city with a first, middle and senior schools inherited from the pre-1974 era.

The growth of Gosforth can be charted using historical OS maps.

The city council’s 2014 ‘red route’ scheme was aimed at alleviating Gosforth’s traffic issues, but met with criticism and local opposition. Since then Newcastle City Council has published an overall five-year plan to “completely transform the roads in the city centre and on the routes around and into Newcastle” called Re-Newcastle (Spring 2016).  Transport improvements to Gosforth are part of this.

“We are taking measures to limit the increase in traffic by encouraging greater use of public transport and healthier ways to travel like cycling and walking, but as our city grows and the economy improves we know that traffic is likely to grow in the years ahead and we have to take steps that will keep the city moving with a transport system that works.” Re-Newcastle (Spring 2016).

Housing in Gosforth

Gosforth is generally thought to be a relatively upmarket residential area popular with owner-occupiers with its core housing dating from before 1939.  It is situated north of the affluent Jesmond area.  The wider area of Gosforth includes a diverse range of housing types and tenures including local authority built homes, sheltered housing and flats to rent.  (Although close to Gosforth, the Great Park development should be considered a separate residential development from Gosforth.)

The images below show some types of homes in central Gosforth.

the grove
The Grove, Gosforth, mostly dating from the interwar 1919-39 period (May 2014)
Church Road, Gosforth, probably c. 1890s (May 2014)
Hedley Terrace – nineteenth century (May 2014)
Regent Farm Court retirement housing c. 1990s (May 2014)

There have been waves of residential development in and around Gosforth at different periods (e.g. 1920s Garden Village, 1930s-50s Brunton Park, 1960s Melton Park with later infilling after 2000, 1980s Whitebridge Park). Not all of the development has been private (e.g. much of the post Second World War Grange estate was council-built for rent, although many houses have been bought by tenants under right-to-buy legislation).  Gosforth Garden Village was laid out in the early 1920s and built 266 houses by 1928; it remains a distinctive area with a strong community focus. It was developed by a charity linked to the LNER railway company and intended for past and present railway employees.  The society was wound up in 1959, but the residents’ association survives.  All of these more suburban areas can be explored using Google maps street view feature.

Pressure for development

Gosforth is a popular affluent area with good local amenities, a reputation for good state schools and is relatively close to the city centre.  This means developers are always looking for opportunities.  For example, in Spring 2003 Barratt built ‘The Wickets’ on a strip of parkland at South Northumberland cricket ground. The development of 18 two-bed luxury apartments with private parking and 18 three-storey townhouses with garages is adjacent to Moor Road. When first built the properties ranged in price from £242,000 to £385,000 (June 2003).

The Wickets, Moor Road North c.2004-5 (May 2014)

In Gosforth there is a high level of demand for all types of homes. Greenfield sites like Whitebridge Park were carpeted by executive villas in the late 1980s, but there are few if any large sites left. Developers have responded to this by seeking smaller plots or brownfield sites to build new flats and houses. The Wickets is one example (and it may have helped pay for the new cricket centre). In other parts of Gosforth new flats have been built on the old Territorial Army premises (near Regent Centre Metro), former government offices and the on the site of what had been the local police station.  The Gosforth area has also seen initiatives in social housing such as the redevelopment of a site at Jubilee Road to provide two-bedroom flats for vulnerable young families.

grove flats
Twenty-first century executive flats at the former Proctor & Gamble HQ (May 2014)

The vacated and extensive Proctor and Gamble headquarters, near the desirable streets of the Grove, was redeveloped as Grove Park (c. 2005-6) with many of the homes sold for over £500,000 at that time.

grove pk sq_v2
Grove Park Square, twenty-first century luxury housing  (May 2014)

In August 2013 Gosforth had four streets in the the list of top ten most expensive addresses in the North East of England: Grove Park Square at Grove Park house price average £1,200,000; Graham Park Road (£1,147,500); Beechfield Road (£985,000); Westfield Grove (£820,000).

In 2013, David Pern, sales consultant for estate agent Sanderson Young in Gosforth, said: “It’s been like this for a lot of years. It’s no surprise the streets of Gosforth are performing well.”  http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/most-expensive-cheapest-streets-newcastle-5759599

A similar survey of average property values, undertaken in March 2017 by Zoopla, found NE hotspots in the rural towns of Morpeth, Corbridge and Ponteland.  However, Gosforth had five streets in this top ten:  Elmfield Park (average property value £1,088,576); Graham Park Road (£1,079,198); Westfield Drive (£934,937); North Avenue (£897,300); Elmfield Road (£888,881).

One large brownfield site to be developed for housing is the vacated Greggs bakery factory on  the Gosforth industrial estate which has been lying unused since the bakery moved to the Quorum Business Park.  Adderstone Group applied in August 2016 to build houses at ‘Christon Close’  [Planning application 2016/1396/01/DET].   However, plans to eventually create more than 250 homes over 24 acres have been refused by planners and the developer has lodged an appeal [Evening Chronicle 29 Nov 2017].

Updated 9th April 2018.  Last checked 10th Dec 2017.

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