Popular Newcastle United pre-match spot could be demolished - and replaced by student flats

Esso garage and spar shop on Barrack Road near St James’ Park.Esso garage and spar shop on Barrack Road near St James’ Park.
Esso garage and spar shop on Barrack Road near St James’ Park. | Newcastle Chronicle
The spot is used by Newcastle United fans on match days.

A petrol station opposite St James’ Park could be bulldozed to make way for student flats.

Plans have been revealed that could see the Esso filling station on Barrack Road torn down.

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The garage, the only place in the city centre where drivers can fill up, is earmarked for demolition under proposals to erect a five-storey block of student accommodation.

The plans, submitted to Newcastle City Council by Euro Garages Limited, would see 56 ensuite student rooms built, in an area that already has a number of large student blocks including the St James’ Point development.

There would also be shops located on the ground floor of the building and a seating area for both residents and the general public, facing onto Wellington Street.

The planning application lodged with the council claims that there would be “no adverse impacts arising from the scheme which would significantly or and demonstrably outweigh the benefits”.

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It reveals that the proposals have been scaled back from an original design that would have featured 81 student rooms, and confirms that each floor of the building would have shared kitchen and living facilities for its residents.

A heritage statement submitted with the application states that the existing service station “makes no contribution” to its surroundings.

It adds: “The buildings on the site are entirely modern and have no architectural or historic interest. Their demolition will cause no harm to the historic environment.

“The proposed building will range from three to five storeys in height, within the range established by nearby buildings on Barrack Road such as the east end of Barrack Court and the neighbouring Sintons building (four storeys), St James’ Point (five to ten storeys) and Queen’s Court (six storeys).

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“The roof will be low profile to reduce the apparent massing of the building. The proposed design and materials (red brick with areas of timber cladding) break up the visual massing of the building and reflect the main building material in the area.

“The modern, high quality design is an appropriate addition to the setting of the nearby heritage assets that preserves their special architectural or historic appearance and heritage significance.”

No date has been set for a decision on whether the plans can go ahead, with the city council’s planning committee expected to have the final say on the petrol station’s future.

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