Plans for a multi-storey car park for Central Station and thousands of new homes on the outskirts of Newcastle city centre are one step closer to becoming a reality after city bosses backed the plans.
Newcastle City Council's cabinet voted in favour of a landmark transformation of the Forth Yards site to the west of the city at a meeting on Monday.
A revised vision for the land, which includes the Utilita Arena and old Calder Leadworks, outlines hopes of getting developers to commit to a dramatic overhaul of the area.
The project could pave the way for up to 2,500 new homes and 40,000 square metres of business land that could create thousands of jobs.
North Yorkshire firm Newby already has £250m plans lodged with the council to turn the derelict Calders yard into a 1,200-home urban village likened to an ‘Ouseburn of the west’.
A 550-space multi-storey car park is earmarked for the Forth Goods Yard behind the train station, but the future of the arena remains in question.
A new £260m venue on the Gateshead Quayside is expected to act as a replacement for the arena on the other side of the Tyne, but the council’s documents state that the current site is expected to remain as some form of leisure venue and that “no alternative development scenarios have been tested”.
Also included in the development area is the Newcastle Heliport, the Safestore site near Central Station, the former Elswick Gas Works, and land in Pottery Lane.
The council has also outlined massive transport upgrades that would be needed in an area that is currently difficult to access, with better pedestrian and cycling routes planned alongside new and wider roads.
Under the proposals, the old Newcastle-Carlisle rail line would be protected from development so that it could potentially be used to fulfil long-held ambitions of extending the Tyne and Wear Metro into the West End.
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Coun Ged Bell, the councils cabinet member for employment and culture, said: "It means we can develop this with not only a high quality of housing but a high quality of business, the area will be a pleasant place to live and work in."
This was backed by Coun Nick Kemp, cabinet member for environment and regulatory services.
He added: "I very much welcome the opportunity for this area to be re-developed."