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Opposition Liberal Democrats call for Newcastle City Council to make progress on future of Arena site and Pottery Lane development area

August 16, 2017 2:40 PM
Liberal Democrats Councillors are calling on Newcastle City Council to bring forward proposals for redevelopment of the Arena site and adjacent derelict land in the Pottery Lane area of the city, suggesting it could be the next key regeneration priority for the city centre.
The existing Arena will be surplus to requirements following its move to a new site on Gateshead Quays in years to come, and its current site forms part of a wider area of brownfield land much of which has been derelict for many years.
The Opposition Lib Dems are calling on the council to make progress in regenerating this part of the city after prolonged inaction, suggesting the area offers the potential to generate significant economic and employment benefits.
Opposition leader Cllr Anita Lower said:
"Anyone crossing the river by train or Metro can see welcome signs of economic development in the form of cranes and construction at the Stephenson Quarter and Forth Banks, much of which was set in motion by the previous Lib Dem council. But in the area around the Arena, there's little sign of development opportunities being realised.
"We recognise the area is complicated in terms of level change, access, and brownfield decontamination, but we would like to see the council seize the opportunity afforded by the Arena's departure to come up with a major development blueprint for the area. It may be some time until the Arena departs, but given that it generally takes a decade to get from vision to reality in major regeneration, the council needs to get on with it now. We have heard aspirational talk from the council about mixed use development but as of this moment, there is nothing happening, and it has been like that for a long time.
"We would like to see the council reap the benefit of this site as a location for employment, whether in terms of an expansion of Newcastle Business Park or as the location for a major new entertainment attractor. We'd like it to become something more than just another apartment village. When the Lib Dems ran Newcastle, we were keen to see this area be considered as the location for a convention centre. Regrettably, Newcastle has missed the boat on that, but we believe the council needs to show more ambition and get on with creating jobs. There's no excuse for this part of the city centre remaining derelict indefinitely."
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