This is what I saw when I was at the bottom of Barrack Road, at the junction of Strawberry Place, Barrack Road, Gallowgate and Pitt Street.

Look across the road you can see the new buildings, which include Verde and The View, which are student flats owned by Downing Students, also out of the picture behind these, JSK Studios,  property  companies specialising in  modern student flats.

Considering there is a big housing shortage in Newcastle, of any other form than student flats, of which there is a surfeit, were I to move into one of these flats, would I be required to prove I was a student?

Also, were I to claim to be a student when I moved there, would I be required to pay council tax, as under normal circumstances students don’t pay?

If I had a property portfolio, which I wished to purchase one of these flats as an investment, and not get any student to live there, because it would not be worth the hassle, would I be required to pay any tax?

UPDATE… I don’t have a problem with students, I consider they are a benefit to Newcastle. My concern is with the large scale conversion of Newcastle into a large expensive student dormitory, by developers who are just in it to make very large sums of money.

Giles Fraser, writing in the Guardian, pointed this out about  new builds in his parish in London…

“But not only are these flats being sold as piggy banks for east Asian capital looking for a safe place to park itself, many of them are not even occupied. Transparency International did some research looking at electricity use in areas where lots of flats are owned by anonymous companies. And – surprise, surprise – the electricity use was consistent with many of the flats being long-term empty.”



Tree Buds, Leazes Park

Lots of blossoms in leazes Park, this is near the Derelict Park Keeper’s House, with Barrack Road and Westgate Hill area in the background.

Barrack Road Hedgerow Plants

I received a photo of the fruits in the mini-woodland or hedge beside the Barrack Road entrance to Leazes Park.
It looks like either a Whitebeam or an Alder.

There are also some perfectly ripe blackberries hidden away. Food for free if you don’t mind your berries coated in exhaust fumes.

Berries like these provide winter food for thrushes and other songbirds over winter.

Leazes Park Spring Flowers and new footpath sign

Some fabulous flowers this Spring in Leazes Park, most of these were seen recently on the walk from the Richardson Road RVI Leazes Wing entrance, heading towards the Barack Road entrance.

New Public Footpath sign, pointing in towards the entrance to Leazes Park and Castle Leazes Little Moor, which is at the junction of Barrack Road and Stanhope Street, opposite the Black Bull Public House.

I’ve been trying to get a good photo of this sign which naturally shows the distinctive green “Public Footpath shade”, to no avail as yet.

Leazes Court, Barrack Road and social housing provision on Barrack Road

This is a historic plaque above one of the entrances to Leazes Court.
Leazes Court is tenement style housing owned by Newcastle City Council. It comprises small flats which are mainly for rent through the councils arms-length management organisation Your Homes Newcastle
Some people bought their homes from the council after the law was changed in the 1980s and sold them on or rent them privately to tenants.
This has also happened in Queen’s Court, although not as much, as far as I know.

Queen’s Court, Sutton Dwellings (now owned by housing association Affinity Sutton), and Leazes Court are the main groups of social housing on Barrack Road, in fact these 3 are where most Barrack Road residents live. These dwellings are all on the West side of the road, on the East side are Castle Leazes student halls, and Fenham Barracks.

Queen’s Court, Sutton Dwellings, and Leazes Court, all have modern facilities and regular maintenance.