Gosforth: Postcode NE3 1AD
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.
- 1864: Northumberland Sheet LXXXVIII 1864
- 1898: Northumberland Sheet LXXXVIII.SE 1898
- 1921: Northumberland Sheet nXCIV.NE 1921
- 1946: Northumberland Sheet nXCIV.NE 1946 (surveyed 1938)
- Gosforth Conservation Area Management Plan adopted in 2009 to preserve and enhance the area – a number of documents can be downloaded.
- Conservation area statement for Gosforth http://www.newcastle.gov.uk/wwwfileroot/legacy/regen/plantrans/conservation/Gosforth_CA_CS.pdf
The city council’s ‘red route’ scheme is aimed at alleviating Gosforth’s traffic issues, but has met with criticism and local opposition.
- Gosforth transport ‘red route’ scheme (25 Sep 2014) Council transport improvements
- Gosforth traffic chaos Evening Chronicle 26 February 2015
- Red route plans put on hold Evening Chronicle 20 June 2015
- Ombudsman clears council for pursuing red routes scheme Council website 19 August 2015 This includes a full summary of the scheme and the consultation process. Work is expected to be completed by summer 2016.
- Residents traffic Facebook page Gosforth Traffic
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. 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. The images below show some types of homes in central Gosforth.
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.
- Garden Village NE3 5DD https://goo.gl/maps/Myd1h
- Gosforth Garden Village Association http://ggva.org.uk/
- Grange Estate NE3 2LJ https://goo.gl/maps/9pPKJ
- Brunton Park NE3 5AB https://goo.gl/maps/s8IE8
- Melton Park NE3 5PH https://goo.gl/maps/p2KgQ
- Whitebridge Park NE3 5JB https://goo.gl/maps/ZglND
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).
Gosforth is an upmarket area of Newcastle and 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.
- YHN Jubilee Court http://www.yhn.org.uk/about_us/new_build/gosforth_-_jubilee_road.aspx
- News release on Jubilee Court http://www.homesandcommunities.co.uk/news/lord-mayor-opens-newcastle%E2%80%99s-first-housing-scheme-young-families
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.
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 average £1,147,500; Beechfield Road average £985,000; Westfield Grove average £820,000.
David Pern, sales consultant for 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
Plans to build 14 luxury houses near Newcastle racecourse in a walled garden area, which is in the green belt and considered to be a wildlife corridor, have been referred to the secretary of state by Newcastle Council (Nov 2014 Evening Chronicle).
- Gosforth Life http://www.gosforthlife.co.uk/main.htm
- Gosforth Academy http://www.ga.newcastle.sch.uk/ Expansion plans to meet demand for places Evening Chronicle April 2015
- Gosforth Central Middle School http://www.gosforthcent.newcastle.sch.uk/page/?title=Home&pid=1