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Introduction

Miller homes park view is a residential development that is situated by the former site of Gateshead College. The site is placed west of Durham Road, east of the Saltwell Park and Saltwell Cemetery. In this post, the author will analyse using the BFL checklist on his impression, perception and observation during the self directed site visit.

Author’s work | Connection, Facilities and  Public Transport

Integrating into the neighbourhood

(Green) Connection

  • 3 main entrances that accommodates cycling, walking and driving located on the East Park Rd, Enfield Rd and Durham Rd (A176).
  • East of the site is a National Cycle Network Route 175 that addresses the importance of cycling as part of the road layout.
  • Less than 3 minutes walk heading to Saltwell Park which gives residents to do physical activities.

(Green) Facilities and Services 

  • Schools are within walking distances such as Dryden School, St. Peter’s Primary School, Banana Moon Day Nursery, Kids 1st Low Fell Lane Primary School and Hardman Centre.
  • Leisure is within walking distances such as Littles Theatre, Gateshead Leisure Centre, Gateshead Fell Cricket Club and Gateshead Football Club for sports.

(Green) Public Transport

  • It has 4 buses that passes through the site for north bound. Bus 1 that goes to Whitley Bay, Bus 21 and 28B goes to Newcastle Eldon Square and N21 that leads to Newcastle Pilgrim Street.
  • For the south bound, Bus 21 leads to Durham and Chester-le-Street while Bus 1 goes to Wrekenton.

(Green) Meeting local housing requirement

  • The housing development is a 9.77 acres site that offers 175 properties, comprises with 25 house types which includes one and two bedroom apartments and three, four and five bedroom homes.(Bdaily Business News, 2012; Zenith Consultants, 2012)

Author’s Work | Character and Context

(Amber) Character

  • The main materials being used in the site are the red bricks, timber cladding and dark grey frames in the windows and doors. 
  • Contrasting the dark grey frames with timber cladding creates a distinctive accent on each homes. 
  • However, these materials were used religiously all throughout of each homes -it is a bit repetitive. 

(Green) Working with the site and its context

  • The siite respects the contours of the site 
  • Great panoramic views to Saltwell Park
  • Majority of the windows are facing on the on the Saltwall park but the main entrance of each houses face on the street.

Author’s work | Photograph I

(Green) Creating well defined street and spaces

  • Well enclosed spaces as homes orientated facing to the communal green spaces.
  • The road layout does not distinguish which are pedestrians and cars as pavements are in the same elevation.
  • The use of road pavings and textures for cars and pedestrians are different

Author’s work | Photograph II

(Amber) Easy to find around

  • Paths leading to Durham Rd are straightforward to follow and navigates as developers use greeneries and strategic planting as key turning points.
  • The building layout around Durham Rd are repetitive and has no distinct nodes or boundaries that would aid users to navigate from point A to point B

(Green) Street for all

  • Road layout has no hierarchy for pedestrians and drivers as roads has shared surfacing and it is an equal level of elevation.
  • Pedestrian friendly environment where drivers are self aware and subconsciously slows down when driving.
  • Evidence of different textures of paving and soft landscaping.

Author’s work | Photograph III

(Green) Car parking 

  • Generally, it is one parking per household. However on the southern part of site it comprises with 2 parking space for each household.

Author’s work | Photograph IV

(Green) Public and private space

  • 5 public spaces and one play area (south elevation of the site). This encourages interaction and play with their neighbours and children

Author’s work | Photograph V

(Green) External storage and amenities spaces

  • Houses along the Durham Rd have designated small nooks to put their bins.
  • Houses by the East Park Rd have there bin inside their fences.
  • On that self directed site visit, it was bin collection day

Overall, I give this housing development

10 Green, 2 Ambers and 0 Reds.

Park View, Miller Homes project has created a scheme that respects existing site contraints, contexts and continuity of urban fabric. The scheme has taken advantage on the opportunities of what the site has to offer such as great panoramic views on Saltway park and working with the steep slopes.  The scheme also emphasises the importance of pedestrian friendly environment. This is supported through road layouts (cars and pedestrians are in equal footing), abundance of POS to enhance interactivity to their neighbours and play. All in all, this scheme will enhance the quality of life and sense of community of the residentss.


References:

Bdaily Business News. (2012). Miller sees demand for homes overlooking Saltwell Park. [online] Available at: https://bdaily.co.uk/articles/2013/06/26/miller-sees-demand-for-homes-overlooking-saltwell-park [Accessed 27 Feb. 2020].

Zenith-consultants.co.uk. (2012). [online] Available at: http://www.zenith-consultants.co.uk/assets/Zenith_Miller-Homes-Park-View.pdf [Accessed 27 Feb. 2020].

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School of Architecture
Planning and Landscape
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear, NE1 7RU

Tel: 0191 208 6509

Email: nicola.rutherford@ncl.ac.uk


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