We regularly update various parties about the ongoing proposals within the Park and any party can contact the project office direct, or attend one of the monthly drop in sessions. It’s been a very busy year on the Park and although some work may not have progressed as quick as we all want I wanted to give a quick update before the Xmas break.
There has been a huge investment in the town centre in 2017 and we now have 19 small retail units available to let. The Town Square and work to complete Roseden Way will start in early 2018, this will really set off the town centre and deliver a high quality area for residents and businesses to use. The interest in the retail units is really positive and we are working up heads of terms with the first occupiers. One of the problems is that we have interest from over 100 potential occupiers and this negotiation is taking longer than expected. It is all very positive but the Consortium are as keen to get a return on their significant investment as anyone and occupying the units is top priority in January.
We also now have a formal offer from a major supermarket and this has taken considerable work to get to this stage. At the same time we also have interest in the pub/restaurant, medical provision and private nurseries.
Although it would seem total common sense that a development of the size of the Park should demand interest from National companies they are nervous until planning permission is in place for the new schools and additional dwellings in Cell A. The delays in gaining this permission is really disappointing but we hope to gain consent in January and its really important for the town centre moving forward.
We are well aware that residents are desperate for some retail provision, so are the Consortium and we expect some really positive news in early 2018.
As mentioned the decision on the planning application for the new schools has been delayed but we are working very hard to acheive this and then deliver infrastructure so that the schools and playing fields can be delivered. We are still trying to deliver this by September 2020 and unless there are further delays in the planning process, this is still achievable.
The completion of the Spine Road is really important for traffic distribution on the Park and is also seen as critical for investors in the Town Centre. Residents will have seen that Site Investigation Work is underway and work will start next year with completion in 2019. There will be continued consultation with residents through this process.
We are still struggling to deliver a number of pedestrian and cycle routes mainly due to the fact that contractors are fully committed. We have now let a contract for the landscaping in and around the community centre and also up both waggon ways. The footpaths and street lighting will follow so that all is in place for the summer with a new play area.
Adoptions, street lights etc
We are trying our very best to get highways adopted but even with all our best endeavours I don’t think other than phase 1 Melbury, we will have any other highways adopted in 2018. We want highways adopted but the process is not easy. I am aware street light repairs are an issue, we undertook a full nighttime survey in September and all remedial work was instructed immediately. There is only one contractor that can do this work and he is working though the list, not just on the Park but all development sites in the North East for the Consortium and other developers. Focus is on walking routes to schools but work will be complete as soon as possible. On that basis if you have any issues please contact the developer you purchased your house from and the project office via the website.
We introduced bins on the Park last year and I do find it strange that when a bin is full, people leave waste next to a bin rather than carry it to another bin that is not full, or just take it home. The cost of bins and emptying them along with litter picking falls upon the management company so we always try and limit costs but at the same time we also want to make sure there are reasonable facilities available. We have at no cost gained some larger bins and more of them, so in 2018 you will see better provision on the Park but if you see a bin full please don’t just dump the waste someone has to pick it up and pay for it.
We have taken more of the administration of the Management company in house and now any resident can contact the project office to find out how much they owe and get a better understanding of what is delivered on their behalf. At the same time more information is available online. Its been a challenge to deliver this in house but it will be a big improvement moving forward. We will be chasing service charges in early 2017 but that is only to protect the management company and those who have paid already.
The construction sites will close down on Friday but if you have any issues over the Xmas period please contact the developer you purchased your house from or via this website. You will get an answer over the Xmas period as emergency cover is in place as normal.
I know there are many other things I will not have covered but if you have questions contact me and I will get back to as soon as I can. Finally, can I take this opportunity to wish residents and business all the best for the festive period.
Regards David Abercrombie
Newcastle Great Park Consortium.