12 flats for site of derelict 19th century house - with six parking spaces

Controversial plans to bulldoze a 19th century house next to the Cherry Tree and build 12 flats have finally been approved by councillors at Newcastle Borough Council. Councillors previously deferred the application twice, once over a finance open space contribution and secondly over the lack of car parking and the design on the building.

The existing house on the site, which dates back to the 19th century, has become 'run down and dilapidated', according to the plans lodged to the council. Previously planning officers recommended entering into a legal agreement to secure a contribution of £62,426 towards offsite open space.

However a viability assessment ruled that the scheme would not be viable if a contribution was needed. Responding to concerns over the zinc cladding, changes have been made to the plans which completely remove the cladding and replaced it with a red brick.

READ: 'Dilapidated' house given stay of execution as flats plan for site put on hold Councillors at Newcastle Borough Council had issues with parking provision and design

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The scheme would also provide six off-street parking spaces provided for the 12 flats, this is below the recommended policy level of 19 spaces. An independent transport assessment was carried out which looked at census data concluded the car ownership in the area is 39 per cent and concluded that the scheme would only need seven spaces.

Iain Miller, transport consultant told the planning committee: “There are no fundamental reasons why the planning application should be refused on the grounds of car parking provision as it meets the national planning policy framework tests. To consider otherwise demonstrates an unconscious, emotionally loaded motivational bias based on predisposed view on on street parking demand arising from displaced hospital parking.”

Councillors were pleased that the cladding was set to be replaced, however wanted to make sure the roof material also fitted into the street scene. Councillor John Williams said he was pleased that the cladding had been changed but asked officers to confirm the roofing material.

Councillor Andy Fear added: “I too welcome what has been done for the appearance of this building. I also share to some degree however Councillor Williams’ concerns, it would be a great shame I think were we to remove the cladding from the side of the building to have a metallic substance on the roof which then jarred with the rest of the roofing. Therefore I would urge officers to look at this, particularly I think the important thing here is to make sure that if you like the material, whatever it is, is of the correct colour but also a sort of matt finish so it doesn’t gleam in contrast to what’s adjacent to it.”

Councillor Richard Gorton advised fellow councillors not to pursue the parking matter. He said: “I personally would not pursue the parking matter, I think there’s pretty convincing arguments not to turn down the application on those grounds.”

Councillors voted to approve the application with the condition that planning officers work with the applicant to confirm a suitable roofing material.

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