Developers have delivered a vote of confidence in Gateshead after signifying their intent to press ahead with an £20m retail and leisure scheme.

The development is set to feature a discount food-store, additional retail units, garden centre, micro-brewery/pub, drive-thru coffee shop and a gym.

Fintry Estates initially outlined plans for the 3.3ha site, off Albany Road, south of the Baltic Business Quarter, in the summer of 2018.

The plans submitted to Gateshead Council have now been re-shaped to help support the economic growth of the business quarter and to reflect the new economic realities resulting from Covid-19.

Graham Wilson, of Fintry Estates, said:  “Our proposals would not only regenerate the Albany Road site but would also help to stimulate interest in sites elsewhere within the Council’s Baltic Business Quarter. Investment such as this is critical given the need for economic recovery in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The revised scheme now includes:

-a discount foodstore of 1,900 sqm

-two other large format retail units comprising 3,500 sqm in total (plus garden centre)

-two smaller retail/service units totalling 230 sqm

-micro-brewery/pub-restaurant

-drive-thru coffee shop

-gym

-304 car parking spaces

An outline planning application for the scheme was submitted in March 2019, but a number of changes have now been made following extensive discussions with Gateshead Council.

These changes include bringing the eastern edge of the development into the site, in order to reserve land which may be needed for future improvements to the surrounding highway network.

The new proposals include fewer parking spaces, a reduction in the retail space,  and a re-design of the proposed micro-brewery/pub to provide a landmark entrance building to the development, from the A184 Felling Bypass.

Fintry has appointed the Newcastle office of national planning and development consultancy Lichfields to secure planning consent.

Lichfields Senior Director Jonathan Wallace, Head of the Newcastle Office, said: “By reserving land for future highways improvements, the scheme would help to stimulate development interest in the wider Baltic Business Quarter area.”

Lichfields say that if approved, the development would generate significant economic benefits, including private investment of around £20m and £16m of additional GVA over the build period.

It is also estimated that the scheme could create around 138 jobs as well as 125 jobs during construction.

The proposals are available to view on the project website which can be found at: https://www.albanyregeneration.co.uk/

The current outline planning application is expected to go to Gateshead Council’s Planning Committee in June 2020.