Plans for the hospital site have come together. Credit: Newcastle University

Health Innovation Neighbourhood set for Newcastle nod

A banner project for the city led by Newcastle University and Genr8 Kajima Regeneration, the transformation of the 29-acre former General Hospital site is expected to be greenlit this month.

To be considered in outline form, the HIN application covers a mixed-use development encompassing research and academic facilities, NHS and other health-related facilities, residential, business, community and leisure uses.

The professional team includes Pegasus Group, Gillespies, GSS Architecture, Mosodi, Shed and Biodiverse Consulting

Initially advanced in 2022, the project has been rebranded from the CAV – Campus for Aging and Vitality – and seeks to put in place a masterplan for the brownfield plot, which fronts Westgarth Road.

Green corridors are key to the project. Credit: planning documents

Some hospital and university buildings will remain as part of the new neighbourhood, with others scheduled for demolition in a rolling programme.

The masterplan and design code as submitted would cover:

  • Around 1,250 homes: 650 for open market sale; 250 clustered living units; 150 later living residential dwellings; and 200 supported living units.
  • Around 350,000 sq ft of research and innovation developments
  • Around 100,000 sq ft of health services
  • Around 350,000 sq ft of business, employment and education uses

These uses would be supported by two sustainable transport hubs, areas of public realm and an as yet undefined amount of space to be given over to other uses including retail and leisure.

Although only indicative at this stage, green corridors are included within the masterplan, which will, it is envisaged, include 24 development plots with a central open space. New east-west links across the site are a key goal.

Ceasing operations as a full-scale hospital site in 2008, the Westgarth Road site has long been regarded as a big development opportunity: twice in the early 2000s plans for a retail superstore fell short, as did an earlier plan for a health-led project. The current proposals have gone through two rounds of consultation with little objection.

The Genr8 Kajima Regeneration Ltd partnership is a 50/50 joint venture between Kajima, the pan-European real estate developer, investor and asset manager and regeneration specialist Genr8 Developments.

This JV has to date delivered more than £130m of town centre regeneration, including the 200,000 sq ft Rochdale Riverside retail and leisure scheme. The partnership is currently working on schemes in Huyton, Winchester, and Telford in addition to the Newcastle Health Innovation Neighbourhood.

The HIN project goers to committee on 26 April with a minded to approve recommendation – it can be viewed on Newcastle’s planning portal with the reference 2012/0530/01/OUT.

Active rooftops are a key ingredient. Credit: planning documents

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