Newcastle may be set for skyscraper revolution

Skyscrapers may be modern structures made with lots of steel and glass and seldom containing much brick, but good insulation is still necessary. Indeed, this will be particularly so for higher floors, where the outside temperature will be colder than near street level.

For that reason, a possible transformation of the skyline of Newcastle-upon-Tyne could make the insulation sector rather busy.

This month has already seen planning permission granted for what may be the first of many skyscrapers constructed on a build-to-let basis, with the council giving the green light to the £30 million Rutherford Tower in the city centre.

Developer Stonegate Developments will build the tower on the site of a former warehouse on Rutherford Street, and it could be the first of ten structures of over 30 m (98 ft) within a 400-yard radius to be built over the next few years.

Of course, good insulation will be important to those living in the 162 apartments in the tower and in any more that are built, but the question of whether Newcastle becomes a city with a skyscraper-dominated skyline is an open one at present. The Rutherford project is the first private rental scheme of its kind in Newcastle, and it remains to be seen if this takes off like it has in London and Manchester.

The city council is to consult on whether Newcastle should become a high-rise city, with assistant director of planning at the council Kathy Lawless telling the Chronicle Live developers are more "confident" about constructing such buildings now the Rutherford Street scheme is going ahead.

“But it is quite important that we get the right tall buildings - that’s really good, high-quality design in the right place," she noted.

"The city’s just producing some policy guidance on that, which will go out to consultation …. to give everyone a say in terms of how they want to see tall buildings in the city."