Lib Dems disappointed at Portland Green student housing decision

March 23, 2009 12:01 AM

A major new student housing development has been approved in Ouseburn Ward. The site, known as Portland Green, is located to the west side of City Stadium and may eventually house up to 2000 students.

Lib Dem ward councillors objected to the planning application, but it was approved by the Development Control Committee in mid February. Local councillor Gareth Kane spoke against the application at the DCC. He said "I'm disappointed that this was approved. I and my councillor colleagues don't have anything against students, who help to bring learning and economic benefits to Newcastle. However, we do feel that the community balance in the Shieldfield area has swung too far, and if Portland Green and other student accommodation in Shieldfield get built, we estimate that by 2012, 5 out of 6 residents of Shieldfield will be students." Gareth Cooper added: "The Portland Green developers have been required to make a very substantial contribution to the area, and we will be working with local residents' groups to make sure that the money is spent on residents' priorities as far as possible. This will at least help to bring some direct benefit to the local neighbourhood."