Chronicles

Newcastle yard to be transformed into mini shipping container village with boutique bars and food

A ‘run down car park’ in Newcastle is set to be transformed into a mini shipping container village with two boutique bars, artisan food and a ‘European inspired’ inner city courtyard.

Plans have been submitted for five shipping containers in a rear yard of the city centre’s High Bridge.

The application says the containers will house two bars “serving high quality drinks” and toilets accessed on the first floor by stairs.

They add that a separate blockwork structure will serve “artisan food”.

The yard will be covered by a free standing timber pagoda from which festoon lights and foliage will be strung.

Planning documents submitted by Highbridge Leisure Ltd said: “The design for the space has been influenced by inner city European courtyards, al fresco dining and drinking establishments often surrounded by beautiful listed buildings and gardens.

“The design for the space must have a ‘garden feel’, luckily there are quality trees on the site which are to be retained and more to be planted alongside them as well as potted feature shrubbery.

“The designer feels it important to add greenery in order to be sympathetic to the Conservation Area, by creating an inner city courtyard garden with inspiration taken from Europe.”

The plans mark the latest shipping container development to come to the region, after nearby Stack won permission to stay in the city centre until 2024.

The plans said: “The use of shipping containers for commercial projects is becoming ever more popular as they are inexpensive and relatively small in size as single units.

“They can be fitted-out offsite, therefore reducing costs and they have the ‘upcycling’ appeal popular amongst consumers, providing the perfect setting for a forward-thinking businesses.”

The yard is accessed from High Bridge where the road splits and runs parallel to Grey Street. It is currently used as vehicle access to the neighbouring office building Merchant House and for deliveries to buildings towards the bottom of Cloth Market.

There is currently a two storey property which is set to be demolished after planning approval.

The plans submitted to Newcastle City Council said: “Recent years have seen the arrival of many successful bars and restaurants to High Bridge.

“Tucked away running parallel to High Bridge is the Old George public house …. it shares its courtyard with new venue Mother Mary.

“This space is well managed by security and has an agreed music policy set out by Newcastle Council and Environmental Health.

“The newly proposed courtyard to the rear of Merchant House will be run in the same respectful manner.

“These courtyards tend to contain crowds and keep noise levels down as opposed to sprawling front facing ‘beer gardens’.”

They add: “What is currently a run down car park is set to become a well managed external food and beverage venue with a strong focus on planting, trees and shrubs.

“Instead of building in a densely populated area more opportunities should be taken to add outdoor space in these ‘gaps’ which can be enjoyed by all.”

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