Stack fan zone at St James' Park gets final sign-off

How the Stack venue at St James' Park could look. Credit: Newcastle United/Digital Crush

Plans for a fan zone outside Newcastle United's ground have been approved.

The St James' Park Stack venue was formally backed by Newcastle City Council on Thursday.

Councillors have agreed to grant the licence for the 3,000- capacity food, drink and entertainment complex in Strawberry Place after police dropped objections to the proposal.

The development was granted planning permission last month.

The operating licence is the final hurdle which means the football club can now start working on the venue, which is expected to be ready to open in spring 2024.

It will be made up of a collection of shipping containers – with bars and independent food vendors arranged across two floors, surrounding a central stage area.

A spokesperson for Newcastle City Council said: “The licence application for the new Stack venue next to St James’ Park has been approved following a hearing earlier this week.

“Licensing committee members met on Tuesday to hear objections, due to concerns over noise levels, along with representation from the applicant.

“The committee also heard details of new conditions and supplemental policies that had been agreed by the applicant and the authorities involved, including in relation to noise management and the applicant’s legal responsibility regarding this issue.

“After considering all representations, committee members were satisfied with the steps taken by the applicant in response to the concerns raised and agreed to grant the premises licence.”

Northumbria Police had originally opposed the St James’ Stack plans, with concerns about concentrating thousands of drinkers immediately outside the football stadium.

Officers withdrew their objection after Stack agreed to “observe and seek to give effect to any reasonable direction made by Northumbria Police” in relation to crowd management at “high risk” times.

The Stack development is planned for Strawberry Place, outside St James' Park in Newcastle. Credit: Newcastle United/Digital crush

Local councillors Jane Byrne and Shumel Rahman had also aired fears about noise from the open-air venue disrupting locals who live near the stadium.

Coun Byrne had called for a stricter condition to be imposed on the Stack’s licence to state that no noise be audible from outside its boundary, but the council’s licensing sub-committee deemed that was not feasible.

The council’s environmental health department has said it is satisfied that noise from the venue can be limited using a “state-of-the-art sound system” that would prevent nuisance.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...