Letter:Office blocks mar Newcastle splendour

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The Independent Online
From Ms Joyce Quin Sir: Peter Dormer's interesting and perceptive article on Newcastle (1 February) is nevertheless somewhat inaccurate as far as the builder Richard Grainger is concerned. Grainger's 19th-century development did not involve large-scale demolition of existing properties - much of it was built on green land and gardens in the area adjacent to the Lort Burn, which was itself filled in and culverted over to allow Grey Street to be built.

Of course, the strategy of finding new uses for the elegant listed buildings of the city is welcome. In my view, however, Newcastle's attractiveness as a regional capital would be greatly enhanced by the demolition of the uglier 1960s/70s office blocks, some of which unhappily are sited amidst the classical splendour which Peter Dormer is so rightly keen to see preserved for the future.

Yours faithfully, Joyce Quin MP for Gateshead East (Lab)

House of Commons London, SW1

1 February

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