Kingston Park estate: Postcode NE3 2RD
Where is it? Bing map||Geograph grid ref NZ2168 || Ward profile NE3 2RD || StreetCheck
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, opened in 1990 and 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. It is connected to the airport and the city centre and beyond by the Metro light rail system. 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 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. The area has become much more urbanised since 1990, attracting significant retail redevelopment on Kingston Park and further housing development on its fringes.
- Houses being constructed in 1978 Newcastle libraries on flickr
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: https://newcastleareas.wordpress.com/kingston-park/kingston-park-retail-change/
There is a mixture of house types, with terraced two-bed homes and low-rise blocks of flats available, but the main house type is three-bed roomed semi-detached and detached houses laid out in a culs-de-sac form with each group known as a ‘court’. The area is dominated by houses built by builders William Leech and in the 1970s these were leasehold, but most are now freehold when sold. Some houses north of Kingston Park Metro station were built as council properties for rent, but many were bought by occupiers under ‘right to buy’ schemes. The majority of the houses in the area are owner-occupied (some privately rented) and have benefited from various home improvements. Replacement glazing and new doors are common, many of the houses have porches on the front and the semis often have an upstairs extension over the garage to give a fourth bedroom. Conservatories can be glimpsed in the enclosed back gardens.
Most current new home developments continue to be on the rural-urban fringe. Although Kingston Park is a mature suburb, it was once a fringe development on green fields.
As a result of the One Core Strategy, houses are to be built on farm land at the edge of Kenton Bank Foot, Kingston Park and nearby at Callerton (see below) from 2016 onwards. Even without this planned residential expansion the Kingston Park area already suffers from increased traffic congestion and a high demand for key services.
Kingston Park’s relatively new neighbour to the north is the Great Park development and this is blamed by local residents for the sudden expansion of retailing at Kingston Park and the associated increase in traffic. The northern edge of Kingston Park and the southern edge of the Great Park are beginning to merge. Despite protests this significant development on green belt land went ahead and continues to expand adding further to the pressure on infrastructure at Kingston Park.
One Core Strategy
Significant proposed changes were contained in the One Core Strategy – a joint plan for the future of Newcastle and Gateshead. This suggested development that would affect those living at Kingston Park and therefore attracted protests from residents – for example around 200 people attended a protest ramble on the edge of the city in August 2012. At that point the proposals included:
- New housing in a growth zone on the western edge of the city (e.g. thousands of houses on the Green Belt at Callerton)
- A new bypass from Throckley to the A1 via the Great Park
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.”
The reshaped plan was approved by Newcastle Council for submission to the Secretary of State in January 2014. The inspector issued an interim set of findings in November 2014 broadly supportive of the council’s housing plans and campaigners have lost their fight to prevent the housing developments.
“The inspector supported homes on greenfield sites at Callerton (3,000 homes), Newbiggin Hall (300), Kingston Park and Kenton Bank Foot (800), Newcastle Great Park (1,480), Dinnington (250), Throckley (550), Hazlerigg and Wide Open (500), all in Newcastle.” Chronicle report November 18th 2014
In response local people have been able to establish a formal neighbourhood area and neighbourhood forum for Kingston Park (Council cabinet meeting 28 Oct 2015; area link – excludes Kenton Bank Foot).
“A Neighbourhood Plan will enable the Forum to set out planning policies for the future development of land… [and] will form part of Newcastle City Council’s planning policy… Neighbourhood planning cannot be used to block the building of the homes and businesses considered to be necessary to meet the city’s current and future needs. … However, it can influence the type, design, location and mix of new development.” https://www.newcastle.gov.uk/planning-and-buildings/planning-policy/neighbourhood-planning/kingston-park-neighbourhood-area
New development – 2015 onwards
By summer 2015, NLP and Bellway Homes had consulted on plans to deliver 1,500 new homes and 2,500sqft of retail at Lower and East Middle Callerton. These estates, close to Kingston Park but neighbouring Newbiggin Hall, are described as neighbourhood growth and are to include homes for first-time buyers and affordable housing for local people. Despite local opposition plans for a ‘new town’ of 1,000 homes were passed in October 2016.
“Planning officers put forward applications from CEG Land Promotions and Bellway Homes, which also includes provisions for road improvements, a primary school, a sports hub and £1.6m towards a subsidised bus service through the estates.” Chronicle report 22 Oct 2016
The One Core Strategy strategic land review page for Kingston Park and Kenton Bank Foot discussed a number of specific sites forming a neighbourhood growth area and, despite the likely impact of traffic congestion, suggested up to 850 houses could be built.
“All of these sites, with the exception of site 4827, are capable of representing a suitable, sustainable location for housing development and could contribute in the order of 850 homes towards the City’s housing requirement, including a high proportion of family houses.” One core strategy – website no longer available. For the resulting plan, see section five – Kingston Park and Kenton Bank Foot (pp200-201)
The land was removed from the Green Belt and allocated for 800 new homes; a public consultation on the Kingston Park and Kenton Bank Foot master plan was held in March 2016 with the houses to be completed by 2030. Lead developer Taylor Wimpey’s overall masterplan was approved by Newcastle Council in May 2016. This covered an area of about 34 hectares and proposed up to 800 family homes. (The sketch plan below shows the main areas of housing proposed in February 2016. A further plot east of the rugby ground is not shown below.)
Taylor Wimpey expect to develop the site at Kenton Bank Foot in phases with a range of house types including two-bedroom starter homes up to to large five-bed detached houses. There will be 15% ‘affordable housing’ (a Newcastle City Council policy requirement) either rented or discounted for sale. Planning approval was gained in December 2016.
At the time the plans were proposed in February 2016, existing residents raised concerns that is it is already difficult to get school places for those living in the area and that essential services would be squeezed. The council argued the local primary schools Kingston Park, Simonside and Cheviot will be expanded (these last two are actually on the Newbiggin Hall estate on the other side of the A696 and might not be considered locally as an acceptable alternative). The council added that the NHS will have to consider the impact on local health services. The plans for Kenton Bank Foot as passed in December 2016 require the developers to provide the money to improve roads, extend local schools (£2.6m from Taylor Wimpey) and a contribution to local healthcare. The plans passed for Callerton in October 2016 include a new primary school and a sum of over £200,000 to improve health facilities.
- Kenton Bank Foot master plan https://www.newcastle.gov.uk/planning-and-buildings/planning-policy/kenton-bank-foot-masterplan (adopted 16 May 2016)
- Chronicle news story [Feb 2016]: http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/property-news/hundreds-new-homes-planned-kenton-10945635
- Chronicle readers have their say [May 2016] http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/another-housing-estate-things-youre-11376513
- North East Chamber of Commerce [May 2016] https://www.necc.co.uk/news/members/plans-submitted-for-529-homes-at-kenton-bank-foot
- Chronicle news story – Callerton plans passed [Oct 2016] http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/property-news/houses-shops-school-built-callerton-12061499
- Chronicle news story – Kenton Bank Foot plans passed [Dec 2016] http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/property-news/more-600-new-homes-way-12265511
- Taylor Wimpey Kenton Bank Foot https://www.taylorwimpey.co.uk/proposed-developments/england/tyne-and-wear/gateshead/kenton-bank-foot-ph-1a