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 Friday, 17 January, 2003, 10:30 GMT
Queue for the homes Wayne built
Wayne Hemingway
Mr Hemingway with one of his house designs
Dozens of house-hunters have braved a freezing night, for a chance to get their dream homes in Gateshead.

More than 30 people queued up for the properties, even though the foundation stones have yet to be laid.

The Staithes South Bank project is being built by George Wimpey in collaboration with the Red or Dead fashion designer Wayne Hemingway.

The first phase, on the site of the Gateshead Garden Festival near Staithes Pier, went on sale at the Marriott Hotel at the Gateshead Metro Centre at 0900 GMT on Friday.

Design skills

Prices for the new homes, will range between 69,000 and 250,000.

Mr Hemingway has long-bemoaned the quality of what he calls "identikit" new housing, so has turned his design skills to a development of affordable homes in the North East.

He said: "As a designer, although I started in fashion, I have always been interested in architecture.

"I wrote some articles about the bland rabbit hutches that constituent most newly-built homes.

"We are slowly but surely making Britain's mass housing estates look ugly compared to the rest of the developed Western world.

Low density

"Victorian working-class housing has got preservation orders slapped on it.

"Can you imagine these 70s and 80s houses in 100 years having preservation orders? They are going to have demolition orders put on them."

He said the Gateshead site was the perfect place to take land and build low density housing.


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