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.”



Gallowgate and Pitt Street

There have been so many changes on Gallowgate and Pitt Street recently, the area has been completely transformed.
It is a bit beyond me to do much in the way of documentary. However I do know that already I am feeling like the buildings are closing in on me. This one reminds me of two images, the film “Jaws” about the shark, and the painting “The Scream” by Edvard Munch.

If you want to see for yourself here is the location on

google maps

Old Benwell Cricket Club then and now

View of Nun’s Moor from Walter Terrace, before completion of fencing work.

The work on fencing off the Nun’s Moor between Studley/Walter Terrace and Barrack Road has been completed for a while now and I think it is better because vehicles can no longer drive on it.
The Freemen of the City have a newsletter with details of exactly what was done
which you can download or read here

Next to Leazes Court (Barrack Road) there was an old building which was demolished a few years ago, after having being derelict for years. You can still see the pipe where the water mains was connected, near the entrance to the Moor.
On the site of that old house there now grows the most beautiful lilac bush, and behind is a stand of mature trees. In the distance is a grassy area where lads play cricket and football, then west of that is Walter Terrace.
Its also one of the most popular dog walking spaces.

Here’s that Green space now

Lilac bush from Barrack Road side