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The Cluny/Ship/Cumberland Arms


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Illogical laws and new housing developments could put an end to live music and band rehearsals in the thriving cultural heart of Newcastle.

 

Two major new housing developments received planning permission at Newcastle City Council’s Planning Committee last Friday. One is for a development of 42 flats in blocks on the former Stephen Easten site in Foundry Lane, Ouseburn. The second site is immediately adjacent and is a development of 10 residential and five commercial units by Brackenshaw Ltd, the former Kelly Plant site.

 

The applications had been objected to strongly by businesses in Ouseburn, which see residential development in the central Ouseburn valley as a threat to the noise-producing businesses in that part of the valley, which include the Cluny, Ship and Cumberland Arms pubs, and the rehearsal rooms in the Off Quay Building on Foundry Lane, just yards from the developments, and in the Garage in Hannington Street to the north, to name but some.

 

Over 20 of the units in the Off Quay Building are used as band rehearsal rooms and several top acts have emerged from there. Bands can only play during the evening and night on weekdays, and any time at weekends. The Cluny, meanwhile, directly across the narrow valley, is a major live music venue and has hosted an increasingly high-profile array of bands – including the New York Dolls and the Wailers in the last month as well as early performances from the likes of Glasvegas, The xx and Wild Beasts.

 

“We are very fearful that putting residential developments in the middle of an area renowned for its musical and cultural activities can only do harm to noise-producing businesses in the valley” said Tony Brookes, Managing Director of The Head Of Steam Ltd which operates the Cluny; “no one lives there at the moment, so it does not matter if sound breaks out into the valley. Illogically, if any resident of a residential development was to complain that noise was causing them a disturbance, their views hold more power in law, even if the noise-producing source has been there longer” said Brookes. He pointed out that the Cooperage, on the Quayside, had been closed recently for exactly that reason.

 

“I believe these applications should have been refused on planning grounds as there could be a loss of economic vitality in the area and a threat to the very concept of Ouseburn Valley that the council has succeeded in fostering – development of a cluster of interdependent music, film, art and other cultural businesses, which have been nurtured, supported and continue to be sustained, though often fragile. They would not be sustained if residential amenity was to be imposed here. Granting the applications could lead directly to the loss of many businesses in the valley.”

 

Shoaib Mazhar, one of the owners of the Off Quay Building, said “I do not understand why Newcastle’s planners have recommended approval for these residential developments – government planning guidance is that incompatible land uses should not be encouraged together, and that is exactly what has happened here. The proposed developments are fundamentally at odds with the commercial and cultural activities of central Ouseburn, the quality and importance of which are recognised throughout the region. There are other places residences could be built further down the valley, which would not have been contentious” he said.

 

Mr Brookes clarified that noise surveys had shown that there was a significant likelihood of complaints of noise disturbance from the new residents and – knowing that in advance – he believes the council itself would be responsible for such disturbances, not the noise-creator. After this was clarified to all concerned, a second report was produced, claiming that no significant noise complaint was likely. “These noise surveys – and, indeed, virtually all the council planners’ arguments – ignored the Off Quay Building, where 24 units have bands and other music businesses” said Mr Mazhar; “how can that be logical?” he said.

 

http://www.kyeo.tv/2010/09/20/outrage-as-live-music-threatened-in-newcastle/

 

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Guest firetotheworks

I normally hate it when areas are stolen of their character, but doing it to that area is a fucking disgrace. It's one of the best things about living in Newcastle.

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That area is really good, something different for the city.

 

Would be a massive loss if any of these businesses was forced to close for residential development.

 

Also would be worse for the residents themselves I imagine, as these places are one of the main reasons to live down there.

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Fuck's sake man.

 

Around there is the best place to drink in the city.

 

Aye, totally gutting. It's probably the only area that hasn't been completely overrun by student bellends.

 

The last Bank Holiday was a completely different story like - they were fucking everywhere. Plus The Ship had turned into some shit funky house session.

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Me and some of my fellow student bellends we're planning on trying this spot out ASAP. Heard great things. :)

 

You were saying Barrack?

 

Great spot. :pow:

 

Seriously, I'd recommend going down there like. It's fucking ace.

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Guest JamesyJazz

f***'s sake man.

 

Around there is the best place to drink in the city.

As was the Quayside,in some opinions, during the 70's n early 80's before commercialism and new money moved in.

Progress,roll with,adapt with and exploit it.

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