Page last updated at 17:47 GMT, Friday, 14 November 2008

Plans to transform historic area

Proposed Stephenson Quarter development
Plans include two luxury hotels, flats, shops and restaurants

A 200m scheme to transform a historic but neglected area of Newcastle has been approved by councillors.

The 10-acre site, south of Central Station, is known as the Stephenson Quarter and contains a number of heritage buildings.

The listed structures, which are now derelict, will be restored.

There are also plans for two luxury hotels, 155 flats, shops, restaurants, and a new post office sorting facility, plus three public squares.

It is hoped that work on the six-year project will start in 2009.

The site includes the offices at 20 South Street where Robert Stephenson's engineering works gave birth to the railway age.

David Slater, Newcastle city council's executive director of environment and regeneration, said: "This is one of the biggest and most detailed applications we have ever received.

"It will revive a neglected area of the city to bring jobs, homes, hotels and history to life.

"We are very excited that such a quality development has been approved even in tough times."

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