The Malings exemplar development in UK Government Building Better, Building Beautiful report
The Malings development in Newcastle-upon-Tyne is one of a handful exemplar projects highlighted in the UK Government ordered Creating space for beauty: interim report of the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission.
The independent report sets out how to promote and increase the use of high-quality design for new build homes and neighbourhoods. With evidence gathered from both the private and public sector, the report will inform Government policy at the Ministry of Communities, Housing and Local Government and other relevant departments.
Just under 100 pages long, the interim report uses the Malings as an exemplar development to describe neighbourhoods which ‘…embody beauty and the spirit of place.’
The BBBBC chair and a group of commissioners were led around the Malings development by David Roberts, director at igloo, who comments: “I’m delighted to see our project referenced in the commission’s report. For the commission to cite such a modern urban typology as an example of beautiful, well-conceived development highlights the value of establishing the right brief.
“We focused on what enables residents to come together as neighbours: front doors onto the street, shared outdoor space, opportunities for chance encounters, and a place you can genuinely fall in love with. The end result is a development with positive social impact in Newcastle.”
Page 16 of the report explains:
The Malings is a Newcastle development, on a central riverside brownfield site, of 76 new homes. It reflects the local house type, the ‘Tyneside Flat’ a form similar to terraced housing.
One resident said of it; “Living in the Ouseburn valley, the rehearsal rooms, the Tyne Bar, the scrap yard crane – all of them are unique to our little part of the world. And we have great neighbours too. Wherever we’ve lived before, we’ve certainly never lived anywhere surrounded by so many people who genuinely love where they live.”
Schemes such as these, where people feel such a profound association between the beauty of the place with their own lives should be the rule, not the exception.
Among key recommendations from the commission’s interim report were the suggestions that planning permission could be withheld on grounds of ‘ugliness’ and that retail parks could be transformed into residential communities.