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Residents Object Proposed Student Accommodation in Newcastle

Posted by Richard Ward in

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

Plans to build an eight-storey student accommodation block in Newcastle city centre have sparked controversy over concerns they would restrict views of a historic sign.

Versant Developments are looking to develop the derelict land situated on the corner of Westgate Road and St James' Boulevard.

The site was formerly home to the Carlisle Hotel, but this was demolished 12 years ago.

The developers are looking to construct an eight-storey student block able to accommodate 70 students, which they predict will contribute £1.4m a year into the local economy.

The site will be equipped with a common room, laundry facilities, games room and cycle storage.

The plans have been strongly criticised by local residents and conservationists, who argue if the plans are given the go-ahead, views of the historic Robert Sinclair Tobacco sign, which has existed since 1856, will be blocked.

Residents opposed to the plans said the sign has made the junction an iconic entrance to the city centre for decades. The sign was also restored at considerable expense to the management company some years ago, and should therefore be retained.

However, developers argued the proposal would revive the derelict and vacant site and that they have taken the neighbouring building including Blenheim House and Sinclair Building into consideration.