Newcastle night spot earmarked for student development.

After decades of dancing the Liquid Envy nightclub will bow out to make way for student housing.

After decades of dancing the Liquid Envy nightclub will bow out to make way for student housing.

The Liquid Envy nightclub, formerly the Oxford Galleries Ballroom on New Bridge Street in Newcastle upon Tyne has been recommended as a site for a new student development.

The historical nightspot that has been home to a vibrant party scene since it was built in 1921.  It was first a ballroom and then enjoyed several reincarnations as a night club. Planning officers from Newcastle City Council have recommended that the main building be flattened to make way for a new development. The stone Oxford Galleries portico will stay and the Grade II listed John Dobson’s house will be restored and used as a bar or restaurant space.

Protestors are angry that another part of Newcastle’s heritage is to be bulldozed, and while the planning department noted that while the site has local value as a drinking and dancing spot, the site was perfect for demolition.

The building became famous after a dramatic scene in the 1971 film Get Carter was filmed on its dance floor. The council received 30 letters of injection including those from nearby businesses and a hotel concerned that the change of use for the site would bring more noise and disturbance in the day, as well as bringing traffic to the street which has no space for parking.

Visitors to the Chronicle’s discussion on the proposed plans were vocal in their disappointment:

Louise Karmazyn wrote: “This is The Oxford an iconic landmark in Newcastle. How many more flats do we need for students? There are plenty of empty flats in Wallsend and Heaton without building more in the town centre!”

David Garside added: “Why do they keep knocking old buildings down…there’ll be nothing of old Newcastle left at this rate.”

Total Re-Brand at City Centre Property Agency

The Walton Robinson office at Haymarket is sporting an updated look.

The Walton Robinson office at Haymarket is sporting an updated look.

Over the past two years, Newcastle property agency Walton Robinson have seen a complete overhaul of their corporate branding. At the same time the workforce has been expanding and moving into further office space within the Bruce Building on Percy Street.

The re-branding project began at Walton Robinson in 2012 and is receiving the finishing touches this spring. This has been the second re-brand since the company was initially established in 2001 and has seen a some big changes take place. 

A totally new logo, website, car liveries, window graphics, interior decoration of the office and brand new illuminated signage to the exterior have all been incorporated into the new branding. Walton Robinson worked alongside both local and national design companies on different sections of the re-brand and re-decoration.

As part of raising the profile of WR’s new identity, they have expanded their social media presence, invested more heavily into local advertising and joined major property portals Rightmove and Zoopla.

Percy Street’s major landmark, the Bruce Building, is the home of Walton Robinson and has been recently purchased by Michigan Investments; another company Mark Walton is a director of.  Future plans are to develop private rented accommodation and more office space for the burgeoning property agency.

Not only was there a redesign of the logo and website but a new brand identity was put into place; the idea of the “Full Circle Service”. Walton Robinson provides everything from lettings, residential sales, buy to let sales and full property management to large scale investment opportunities so this “Full Circle” motif was incorporated into every step of the new-look Walton Robinson.

Mark Walton, managing director of Walton Robinson said; “The aim from the start of Walton Robinson was to provide an all-encompassing, “Full Circle”, service- offering advice on buy-to-let, sales and renting, which we did do to a certain extent. However, we now have the team, processes, training, PR, marketing, branding and identity all in one place, to enable all these services to be provided exceptionally well – and it makes me proud to see our clients responding so positively to our approach.”


Does broadband speed affect your property choices?

Does broadband speed affect your choice of home?

Does broadband speed affect your choice of home?

Broadband speed is becoming an increasingly important factor for renters and homebuyers when making a decision on a property to rent or buy according to research from property portal Rightmove.

The speed of broadband connection at a property is becoming an increasingly important factor when deciding on a property; according to the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA), poor broadband speeds can potentially lower the value of a property by 20%.

The government have promised £250 million to extend the coverage of super-fast broadband in the UK to reach 95% of homes and businesses by the year 2017. An additional £10 million fund has been launched in March 2014, aiming to find ways to reach the other 5% of the UK.

Rightmove reported that broadband capabilities were ranked as a more important feature than information on local transport and schools. The property portal have also added a broadband speed search function on their website for prospective tenants and homebuyers enabling them to check the speed of broadband in a specific postcode. This feature was added earlier this year and now receives over 400,000 page views per day.

Bernard Phillips, Head of Consumer Platforms at Rightmove, said: “We’re always considering new developments to our website and mobile platforms, to make sure we provide Rightmove users with the best property search experience and because we understand the benefits these have for our customers. The trial exceeded our expectations so it’s become a permanent  addition that further enhances our listings. We already offer a number of tolls to help consumers make informed decisions about a property including local schools and transport links, and we’re pleased to be the first to add data on broadband, something that has become ingrained in people’s lives and an important factor when choosing a home.”

This was a guest post from Newcastle letting agents Walton Robinson.

High Court upholds Bristol Council v Digs Verdict

Is the jig up for the HMO Maisonette?

Is the jig up for the HMO Maisonette?

A judge in the High Court has upheld a decision made at Bristol Magistrates Court in October 2013.

The original case centred around a masionette and whether it needed an HMo License, we first reported on it back in November.

Last week Justice Burnett at the High Court refused Bristol Council’s appeal, meaning that the maisonette did not need an HMO license, and therefore set a precedent for any future cases of this nature. This means that the case us binding in any lower courts, unless there’s a change to the law or a higher court makes a different ruling.

It is thought that now the door is open, many more landlords will bring cases to their respective councils, seeking a refund for their licenses, and the works they had to do to bring properties to HMO standard.

Enviro-vent scoops champagne prize at Newcastle Landlord Conference.

Our stand at the Newcastle Landlord Conference.

Our stand at the Newcastle Landlord Conference.

Last Thursday the team from Student Housing magazine were down at the Newcastle Landlord Conference at Newcastle Civic Centre. With stands from over 30 exhibitors and seminars and talks from prominent industry specialists the day was a great chance to meet some new faces and catch up with old acquaintances. We were handing out magazine goody bags so if you missed your opportunity to grab one fill in this form here and we’ll send one out to you.

Paul Allison and the winner dgsfdh

Paul Allison and the winner Anthony Hunter

As usual we were giving away a bottle of champagne to a winner pulled from a hat by Danielle Wilson from the Private Rented Service and this year the winner was Envriovent Ventilation Specialist Anthony Hunter. Envirovent is a leading manufacturer and installer of clem air ventilation systems that can reduce condensation in a property and improve air quality. For more information please visit their website.

Student Housing at the Newcastle Landlord Conference

newstudent_banner_new_600pxWe will be at this year’s Newcastle Landlord Conference, this Thursday the 27th March.

Hosted and organised by Newcastle City Council and their Private Rented Service the event will feature speakers from the NLA and the Department of Communities and Local Government. All are welcome to attend, there will be stands and information on mortgages, leases and taxes and how the Council can help make the most of your properties.

The event will run from 10am ’til 4pm and exhibitors will include: -

Warm up north, grants for thermal solutions
Robson Laidler, Chartered Tax advisor
Approved Mortgage solutions
M J Boaden, Chartered Surveyors
Martin and Co, Lettings
Valuation Office
Tyne & Wear Homes
National Landlord Association
Northumbria Police
Any of course us!

You can drop in or spend the day there, refreshments and a light lunch available. If you’re interested please get in touch with
Newcastle City Council on 0191 277 1438 or email them at

New Student sponsors Student gig fundraising for cancer charity.

A Night Out @ The Cluny, sponsored by Student Housing Magazine and Graphic Designer John Luke

A Night Out @ The Cluny, sponsored by Student Housing Magazine and Graphic Designer John Luke

Student Housing magazine has joined forces with two Newcastle College students to fundraise for Cancer Research.

Miles Pratt (21) and Clive Kennedy (22) are Sound Engineering Students at Newcastle College and have put together the gig at Newcastle Music Venue the Cluny to raise money for Cancer Research on April 3rd 2014.

A Night Out @ The Cluny will feature live music from headliners The Cities We Light and support from Built Like a Gun, The Shinobi Fantobi, Good Friend and The Face.

Tickets are available on the door or from The Cluny. For more information please see the event’s Facebook page.

New Student Development for Newcastle sites.

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Disused industrial buildings will be demolished to make room for the three new student blocks.

Further developments have been announced for an area of Newcastle that is becoming very popular with students.

In November 2013 a planning application was submitted for three adjacent sites between Stoddart Street and Clarence Street in the city’s up and coming Ouseburn area. The £16m housing block development will be a collaboration  between BAM Construction and Connislow and comprise of some 410 bed spaces spread over three buildings.

There will be one eight storey block and two six storey blocks, as well as 13 car parking spaces and storage for up to 100 bikes. The ground floor will be reserved for cafe or shop usage.

Ouseburn has become popular with student developers after councillors sought space away from student hot spot Jesmond. The former industrial area has vacant lots as well as historically significant buildings that have been regenerated and now boasts an eclectic mix of pubs, creative industries and student accommodation and affordable housing schemes.

Work almost complete on Union Square

Rachel McNutt and Brims Project Manager Mick Morpeth on the Union Square site.

Rachel McNutt and Brims Project Manager Mick Morpeth on the Union Square site.

The Union Square development in Upper Ousburn is almost complete.

The new development, headed up by property development company Adderstone Group, will house 228 students when it opens in September 2014. There will be 146 studios with kitchenette and 15 cluster flats for between three and six people. There will be car parking, bike storage and 100MB broadband and wifi connectivity.

The show flat is open now, with the finished building taking shape. The development is U shaped, with a central courtyard to approving some outdoor communal spaces for residents.

Rachel McNutt, Adderstone’s Development Surveyor said: “The scheme is a great boost for North East economy and will be particularly suitable for international under and post graduate and UK post graduates due to the special attention made to provide dedicated working areas, living space and the intelligent, functional design and quality of fixtures and fittings.”

Unite buys up Aberdeen plot

Unite already has a foothold in the city's student property market.

Unite already has a foothold in the city’s student property market.

Unite announced on Wednesday that has acquired a one acre plot in the centre of Aberdeen.

The company already owns four purpose built blocks of student accommodation in the city with space for 1,300 residents. The new scheme which will cost about £20 million will have around 400 beds.

Richard Simpson, Unite’s managing director of property, said the new scheme is close to Aberdeen University and has good transport links with Robert Gordon University, and the project will include the refurbishment of a derelict school building on the site.

He added: “By renovating and bringing back into use a listed building, we are pleased to contribute to the regeneration of this city centre location

“Aberdeen has a thriving economy underpinned by the oil and gas industry and two strong universities with 19,000 full time students seeking accommodation.”