Arthur’s Hill and Spital Tongues

A few photos from being out and about in the local area recently…

Housing in Arthur’s Hill is mainly brick terraces, some dating to the mid Victorian period, many are Tyneside_flats
There is a large variation in socioeconomic status and condition of properties in Arthur’s Hill, with some in very poor condition, and some looking very genteel, we do see that absentee landlords are allowing properties to fall into disrepair, whereas some other properties are very smart. Currently one of the best maintained streets is Sidney Grove, where I spotted this lovely laburnum and rhododendron.

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An architectural wonder, which is easily missed unless slowly meandering, the Coptic Orthodox Church on Brighton Grove

Beautiful daisies carpet the ground in
Nun’s Moor Park

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Also beautiful laburnum and rhododendrons in Nun’s Moor Park

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Lastly, over the other side of Barrack Road, in Spital Tongues, the most beautiful profusion of bushes, ferns and flowers on the side of a house…

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New Mills

A lovely spring day on the New Mills Estate, the trees are in their greenest spring colours on the right. and on the left you can see the 1920s tenements of Leazes Court dwellings. In the distance the Number 12 bus is trundling down the  bank towards Barrack Road.

 

Junctions

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.”

 

West End Dunnock

This is a male Dunnock (perching on a bush in a nearby garden) which arrives every year and establishes a territory by singing very loudly. He looks a bit like a sparrow but he is very loud with a large range of songs, and stays on his own, unlike sparrows, which flock together in groups. He does have a female companion sometimes. He likes to begin singing around dawn.
The most common local birds are blackbird, magpie, pigeon, crow, robin, blue tit, but various finches including bullfinches can be seen around parks and gardens.
Recently I was in Leazes Park and I saw a magpie balancing on the edge of a rubbish bin, and in the process of removing a Subway sandwich wrapper. Once he got the wrapper out he threw it on the ground to peck the leftover food.