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									Development Control Committee
6 February 2004


Reference:        2003/2558/01/DET

Proposal:         Erection of 4, 5 and 6 storey building comprising 32 self
                  contained flats at part ground and first to sixth floors and
                  parking at lower ground floor and part ground floor (30
                  spaces) as amended by plans received 19 January 2004

Location:         Former Peacocks Medical Group Limited, Hanover
                  Buildings, 6 Clavering Place, Newcastle upon Tyne

Applicant:        Leftbank Developments (Hanover Square) Limited

Report by:             Head of Planning & Transportation

Ward Implications:     West City

Planning Control Area 2



INTRODUCTION AND PROPOSAL

1.    The site to which this application relates is located to the south east of Central Station,
      at the top of the River Tyne escarpment and within the Central Conservation Area.
      Turnbull Warehouse lies to the east of the application site and forms a distinctive
      landmark building. The application site is approximately 764sqm and the proposed
      development encompasses most of this land.

2.    The proposed building comprises a mix of 2 one bed and 30 two bedroom flats. The
      building would be six storey in overall height, containing two flats at ground floor level
      and seven flats on each of the floors up to and including the fourth storey. The
      proposed building would adjoin the southern elevation of Friar House, grade II listed,
      with the fourth storey being 0.3m higher than the eaves level of this property. The fifth
      storey, containing six flats, would be set back from the gable wall of Friar House which
      has four attic windows at this level. The sixth storey, containing the three penthouse
      flats, would be recessed from the north and eastern elevations and would be set back
      from the south and western elevation by 0.6m. The proposal would project out beyond
      the front elevation of Friar House towards Clavering Place by a distance of 9.8m. A
      roof garden is proposed on the flat roof of the single storey car park entrance adjacent
      to Friar House, with balconies being proposed on the western elevation and recessed
     Juliet style balconies on the southern elevation of the proposed development. The
     sixth storey would feature balconies on both the western and southern elevations.

3.   To the east of the site, a distance of 9m would separate the first to fifth floors of the
     proposed building from Turnbull’s Warehouse, grade II listed, with the sixth storey
     being set back by a further 6.5m. The proposal would be situated 6.2m away from the
     approved City Lofts development to the south of the site. Building Number 3 of the
     City Lofts scheme, located to the south of the application site would consist of a 7
     storey high residential development, set into the escarpment. Due to the slope of the
     escarpment, the northern elevation of this building would be 5 storeys in height when
     viewed from Clavering Place.

4.   In terms of materials, the building would feature an art stone base. Brickwork would be
     used on all the upper floors, with render panels over the main entrance. Glazing would
     be used on the part of the northern elevation of the building adjacent to Friar House,
     additionally a section of the western elevation of the fourth and fifth storey adjacent to
     Friar House would be glazed. Only the east elevation and a small length of the
     northern elevation of the sixth storey would have any solid facing.

5.   Car parking would be provided at the lower ground floor and ground floor levels, each
     having a separate access. The lower ground floor contains 17 spaces and would be
     accessed via a traffic light controlled ramp from the lane which runs along the
     southern boundary to the site. At ground floor level, 13 car parking spaces would be
     accessed from Clavering Place.

SITE HISTORY

6.   Before the mid-19th century, Clavering Place and Hanover Square was a
     predominately residential area but with the advent of railway it became more industrial
     in character. A six storey warehouse was built at this site in 1897 and was attached to
     and projected in front of Friar House and was attached at high level to Turnbull
     Warehouse. The warehouse was damaged by fire in the 1970s and was
     subsequently demolished. The site was last used as a car park.

PLANNING HISTORY

     2000/0795/01/DET and 2000/1675/01/DET

7.   Two detailed planning applications were submitted in 2000 for this site. The first,
     submitted on 30 May 2000, was for the erection of a 6/7 storey building, comprising
     café bar (Class A3) on the ground and first floors and residential at second to seventh
     floors to form 21 self contained flats. The second application was submitted on 25
     October 2000 for the erection of a 6/7 storey building comprising car parking at semi
     basement (15 spaces), café/bistro (Class A3) at ground floor and residential at first to
     seventh floors (22 flats in total). Both applications were withdrawn in light of concern
     that was raised regarding the scale of the development and the elevational treatment.

     2002/0711/01/DET

8.   A planning application was submitted by Morrison Homes Ltd on 22 April 2002 for the
     erection of a 4, 5, 6 and 7 storey building comprising 39 self-contained flats at part
      ground and first to sixth floors and parking at lower ground floor and part ground floor
      (31 spaces). This application was withdrawn on 4 March 2003.

CONSULTATION AND PUBLICITY

9.    Upon receipt of the application over 78 residents and businesses were consulted.
      The application was also advertised by way of press and site notices as a major
      development which affects the setting of a listed building and the character of a
      Conservation Area. In response to this consultation, 3 letters of objection have been
      received from Northern Land Residential Developments Ltd, Robson Brown and the
      owner of Loft 11 within the Turnbull Warehouse.

10.   The comments received from Nathanial Lichfield and Partners on behalf of Northern
      Land Residential Developments Ltd are summarised as follows:

         No objection in principle to the development of this site for housing.

         Concerned that current proposal is of an excessive scale and massing and would
          have an adverse impact on the setting of Grade II Friar House.

         The inclusion of the sixth storey would result in the building appearing to dominate
          Friar House.

         The applicant partially justifies exceeding the height limits set out in the adopted
          design guidance for the Clavering Place area on the basis that this height is
          needed to give the building a southerly aspect and to ensure that it is commercially
          viable. The argument is based upon the need to ensure that the building rises
          above the top of Building Number 3 on the City Lofts site. This argument cannot be
          sustained and is insufficient to justify the development of a building which is out of
          scale with its existing neighbours.

11.   Robson Brown, based at Clavering House, are concerned about disruption during
      the construction process from traffic congestion, parking and access problems, noise
      and increased levels of litter.

12.   The owner of Loft 11 has objected to the application on the following grounds:

         Impact on the unique listed Turnbull Building.
         Loss of amenity, privacy and external visibility as a result of direct overlooking.
         Additional noise and road safety implications as a result of increased traffic.
         Questions validity of flooding the town with a huge number of flats.

13.   Newcastle Conservation Advisory Panel object to the application for the following
      reasons:

       The height and bulk of the proposal is unacceptable. It should be reduced in height
        by at least one storey throughout to prevent it from being overbearing and from
        challenging Turnbulls and Central Square 2 for visual supremacy.

       The Panel broadly echoes English Heritage’s comments that it is a standard
        architectural solution which pays little attention to the historic or character context of
           the site. It is a weak design which has little chance of making a positive
           contribution to the local scene.

14.   English Heritage has serious concerns over the proposed development, and whilst
      they welcome the development of this site, they feel that the proposal does not
      respond adequately to the context of the site – an extremely prominent site within the
      conservation area and adjacent to important listed buildings.

          The height and bulk is too large in relation to Friar House and would be an overly
           dominant building on the lip of the Tyne Gorge.

          The Urban Landscape Study of the Tyne Gorge cites as a threat to the Gorge
           character new built development that dramatically alters the skyline or has an
           overbearing effect on historic buildings.

          The design is a standard architectural solution which does not respond to the
           industrial architecture and richness of detailing of buildings in this part of
           Newcastle.

          The ground floor parking provides a dead frontage to the street. It is important to
           provide an active edge to the public realm, particularly in areas such as this, in
           order to improve security and an enlivened street scene.

15.   Public Health and Environmental Protection have no objections to the proposal but
      would recommend that conditions be applied to any consent in relation to refuse
      storage facilities, a railway noise survey, details of acoustic glazing and ventilation, a
      survey of the site history and the decontamination of the site.

16.   Environment Agency have no objection in principle to the proposed development but
      recommend conditions in relation to a surface run-off limitation scheme and that
      surface water drainage should be passed through of trapped gullies.

DEVELOPMENT PLAN ALLOCATION

17.   Section 54A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 states that ‘where, in making
      any determination under the Planning Acts, regard is to be had to the development
      plan, the determination shall be made in accordance with the plan unless material
      considerations indicate otherwise.’ The development plan is the Newcastle upon
      Tyne Unitary Development Plan (UDP), which was adopted by Newcastle City Council
      on the 28 January 1998.

18.   The site is not subject to any specific land use allocation within the Unitary
      Development Plan, however, it falls within the extended Central Conservation Area. In
      addition, the following policies relate to the site and the proposal:

      C2       ALTERATION OR EXTENSION OF A LISTED BUILDING OR OTHER DEVELOPMENT
               WHICH WOULD HARM ITS ARCHITECTURAL OR HISTORIC INTEREST OR SETTING
               WILL NOT BE ALLOWED.

      C3       DEVELOPMENT IN A CONSERVATION AREA WILL BE REQUIRED TO PRESERVE OR
               ENHANCE ITS CHARACTER OR APPEARANCE: DEVELOPMENT WHICH WOULD
               NEITHER PRESERVE NOR ENHANCE THE CHARACTER OR APPEARANCE OF THE
               CONSERVATION AREA WILL NOT BE ALLOWED.
C4     DEVELOPMENT WHICH WOULD HARM SITES OR AREAS OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL
       INTEREST AND THEIR SETTINGS WILL NOT BE ALLOWED


C4.2   WHERE A PROPOSAL MAY AFFECT A SITE OR AREA OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL
       INTEREST, THE DEVELOPER WILL BE REQUIRED TO SUBMIT AN APPROPRIATE
       ASSESSMENT OF ITS POTENTIAL IMPACT UPON THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL REMAINS
       AND WHERE NECESSARY UNDERTAKE AN ARCHAEOLOGICAL FIELD EVALUATION.

EN1.1 ALL DEVELOPMENT WILL BE REQUIRED TO MEET HIGH STANDARDS OF DESIGN IN
      ACCORDANCE WITH THE FOLLOWING PRINCIPLES:

       A.   RETAINING THE BEST BUILDINGS;

       B.   TAKING FULL ADVANTAGE OF LANDFORM, LANDSCAPE AND OTHER SITE
            FEATURES;

       C.   INTEGRATING DEVELOPMENT INTO ITS SETTING WITH REGARD TO THE SCALE
            AND PATTERN OF SURROUNDING BUILDINGS AND SPACES, AND LINKS IN THE
            PEDESTRIAN ROUTE NETWORK;

       D.   RELATING TO THE MATERIALS AND DESIGN CHARACTERISTICS OF
            SURROUNDING BUILT DEVELOPMENT;

       E.   FACILITATING SAFE PEDESTRIAN MOVEMENT;

       F.   DESIGNING FOR EQUAL ACCESSIBILITY FOR ALL USERS REGARDLESS OF AGE
            OR DISABILITIES, AND MINIMISING OPPORTUNITIES FOR CRIME;

       G.   ENSURING NEW BUILDINGS ARE ADAPTABLE TO USE FOR OTHER PURPOSES;

       H.   A COMPREHENSIVE AND CO-ORDINATED APPROACH TO NEW DEVELOPMENTS
            OF MORE THAN ONE BUILDING;

       I.   INCORPORATING HARD AND SOFT LANDSCAPING AS AN INTEGRAL PART OF
            DESIGN, MAXIMISING TREE PLANTING WHERE APPROPRIATE, AND PROVIDING
            FOR ITS LONG TERM MAINTENANCE;

       J.   MINIMISING ADVERSE IMPACTS ON NEARBY LAND USES;

       K.   MINIMISING IMPACTS ON ACTIVITIES ON NEIGHBOURING OPEN LAND AND
            COUNTRYSIDE; AND

       L.   MAXIMISING THE USE OF BUILDINGS, STRUCTURES AND LAND FORMS TO
            SCREEN NOISE SENSITIVE DEVELOPMENT AND SPACES.

EN2.1 DEVELOPMENT WHICH WOULD HARM THE FOLLOWING VIEWS WILL NOT BE
      ALLOWED:

       A.   FROM MAIN APPROACHES TO THE CITY AND CITY CENTRE;

       B.   FROM MAJOR MOVEMENT CORRIDORS;

       C.   FROM OR ACROSS THE RIVER TYNE;

       D.   TO THE NORTH TOWARDS THE CHEVIOTS, SIMONSIDE, AND OPEN
            COUNTRYSIDE; AND

       E.   OF HISTORIC BUILDING OR SKYLINES OR OTHER DISTINCTIVE LANDMARK
            BUILDINGS AND STRUCTURES.
H2     DEVELOPMENT WHICH WOULD HARM THE AMENITY OF ANY DWELLING, OR GROUP
       OF DWELLINGS WILL NOT BE ALLOWED. IMPACT ON RESIDENTIAL AMENITY WILL
       BE ASSESSED WITH PARTICULAR REGARD TO:

       A.   PROTECTING THE CHARACTER OF THE LOCALITY AND OF THE EXISTING
            BUILDING IN THE CASE OF ALTERATIONS, EXTENSIONS OR CONVERSIONS;

       B.   PROTECTING TREES AND OTHER SOFT LANDSCAPING OF AMENITY VALUE;

       C.   ENSURING SATISFACTORY DAYLIGHT, SUNLIGHT, OUTLOOK AND PRIVACY FOR
            ALL DWELLINGS, EXISTING AND PROPOSED, PARTICULARLY IN RELATION TO
            GOOD EXISTING STANDARDS IN THE LOCALITY;

       D.   AVOIDING THE INTRODUCTION OF SUCH ADDITIONAL ACCESSES, TRAFFIC OR
            PARKING AS WOULD INCREASE VISUAL INTRUSION, NOISE OR DISTURBANCE,
            OR PREJUDICE ROAD SAFETY; AND

       E.   ENSURING THAT NON-RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT AND/OR ASSOCIATED
            OPERATIONS WILL NOT HARM RESIDENTIAL AMENITY THROUGH AN INCREASE
            IN NOISE, DISTURBANCE, SMELLS, FUMES OR OTHER HARMFUL EFFECTS.

H4     A HIGH QUALITY OF DESIGN AND LANDSCAPING WILL BE REQUIRED IN ALL
       HOUSING DEVELOPMENT. PARTICULAR ATTENTION WILL BE PAID TO:

       A.   THE CHARACTER AND QUALITY OF THE LOCAL ENVIRONMENT;

       B.   GOOD STANDARDS OF OUTLOOK, NATURAL LIGHT AND PRIVACY IN ALL
            DWELLINGS;

       C.   SAFE, CONVENIENT AND COMFORTABLE CIRCULATION FOR PEDESTRIANS
            ESPECIALLY CHILDREN, ELDERLY PEOPLE AND THOSE WITH DISABILITIES,
            INCLUDING MEASURES FOR TRAFFIC CALMING AND CYCLING;

       D.   MEASURES FOR DESIGNING OUT CRIME; AND

       E.   MEASURES TO MAXIMISE ENERGY EFFICIENCY

T4.5   DEVELOPMENT SHALL PROVIDE PARKING WHICH SATISFIES OPERATIONAL
       REQUIREMENTS. PROVISION IN EXCESS OF THIS REQUIREMENT WILL BE
       DETERMINED IN RELATION TO THE IMPACT OF DEVELOPMENT ON THE
       ENVIRONMENT. PARKING PROVISION WILL BE MET BY:

       A.   THE IMPLEMENTATION OF PARKING STANDARDS ON SITE; OR

       B.   THE PAYMENT, BY DEVELOPERS TO THE CITY COUNCIL, OF A COMMUTED SUM
            SO THAT ALTERNATIVE PROVISION CAN BE MADE ELSEWHERE; OR

       C.   THE PROVISION OF CAR PARKING SPACES BY THE DEVELOPER ON AN
            ACCEPTABLE SITE ELSEWHERE IN THE LOCALITY.

T5.3   CYCLING IN NEWCASTLE WILL BE ENCOURAGED BY:

       A.   PROVIDING A SIGNED CITYWIDE NETWORK OF CYCLE ROUTES SEPARATE,
            WHERE POSSIBLE, FROM MAJOR TRAFFIC FLOWS;

       B.   ENSURING CYCLISTS’ NEEDS ARE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT IN THE DESIGN OF
            HIGHWAY AND TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT SCHEMES;

       C.   ENSURING CYCLISTS’ NEEDS ARE CONSIDERED AS PART OF NEW
            DEVELOPMENT AND WHERE APPROPRIATE, REQUIRING THAT FACILITIES,
            INCLUDING PARKING, ARE PROVIDED, TO SATISFY OPERATIONAL
            REQUIREMENTS AND STANDARDS;
             D.   PROVIDING CYCLE PARKING FACILITIES AT APPROPRIATE LOCATION IN THE
                  CITY CENTRE, LOCAL SHOPPING CENTRES AND ELSEWHERE;

             E.   PROVIDING ACCESS TO ROAD SPACE OTHERWISE SHARED BY BUSES AND
                  SERVICE VEHICLES WHERE APPROPRIATE; AND

             F.   PROVIDING EDUCATION, TRAINING AND PUBLICITY WHICH ENCOURAGE SAFE

             G.   AND GOOD CYCLING PRACTICE.

      Central Station Area Study – Sub Area 2, Clavering Place

19.   In addition to the above policies, two Committee reports titled “Central Station Area
      Study – Sub Area 2, Clavering Place” provide specific guidance in relation to
      Clavering Place and area. The first was approved on 4 August 2000. The aim of this
      study was to provide a vision for a sustainable mixed use quarter that was better
      integrated with the City Centre. The four objectives identified to guide development
      and public realm works within Clavering Place sub-area sought to:

      -   Optimise the potential of underused brownfield sites.

      -   Improve public safety and security within the public realm.

      -   Improve accessibility with links to Central Station and with simplified east-west and
          north-south routes.

      -   Emphasise “sense of place” by enhancing local distinctiveness and creating a new
          identify by the introduction of new buildings.

20.   This report goes on to state that a high-density urban form should be promoted
      although in some locations, exceptions could be acceptable in order to achieve other
      development principles. The second report was agreed at the Development Control
      Committee on 15 September 2000 following a site visit on 16 August 2000. Members
      agreed the scale and massing guidance set out in this report as an addition to the 4
      August 2000 report. Specific guidance of particular relevance to the current proposal
      states the following:

         With the exception of the landmark Grade II listed Turnbull Warehouse building,
          the current scale of this part of the Central Conservation Area is broadly
          determined by the Listed former Georgian houses in Clavering Place and the later
          19th Century warehouse buildings in Hanover Square.

         New development should respect this scale by following the same eaves and ridge
          heights (the tallest of which is that of Friar House). This is approximately 10m and
          15m respectively which equates to approx 4/5 storey depending on precise floor to
          ceiling heights for particular uses.

         There may be scope for a limited increase above these heights for instance to
          achieve accommodation within a small corner feature if this is beneficial to the
          immediate streetscape.

21.   In addition, the Urban Landscape Study of the Tyne Gorge (January 2003) is also of
      relevance to the current scheme. This study includes an assessment of the character
      of the Gorge and its immediate setting, which covered Clavering Place. This study
      identifies as a threat to the Gorge Character “new built development that dramatically
      alters the skyline or has an overbearing effect on historic buildings, particularly on
      existing landmarks such as Turnbull’s Warehouse” (p153).

PLANNING ASSESSMENT

22.   The principle issues requiring assessment in this application are as follows:

      a)   proposed use of the site for residential development;
      b)   scale, massing and design;
      c)   highway, access and parking issues;
      d)   archaeology; and
      e)   public realm improvements.

      Proposed use of the site for residential development

23.   I consider that the proposed use of part ground floor and uppers floors for residential
      accommodation is in accordance with the Llewelyn-Davies study titled “Newcastle
      Central Station Development Options Study” (March 2000) and the 4 August 2000
      Committee report which identifies this area as having the potential for sensitive mixed
      used developments. However, I have serious concerns regarding the positioning of a
      car park on part of the ground floor which has resulted in significant amounts of non-
      active frontage directly impacting on Clavering Place space.

24.   My reservations are reinforced by comments received from English Heritage, the
      4 August 2000 Development Control Committee Report and the Tyne Gorge Study.
      Paragraph 12 of the 4 August 2000 Committee report specifically identifies the need
      for active building frontages and uses at ground floor level that relate directly to
      existing and new pedestrian routes. The Tyne Gorge Study identifies “extensive areas
      of ground level car parking” as a threat to the Gorge Character. Additionally, Planning
      Policy Guidance Note 6 (PPG6): Town Centres and Retail Developments states that
      “local planning authorities should promote …lively street frontages”.

25.   Clavering Place provides an important pedestrian route from the City Centre to the
      Quayside via Tuthill Stairs or Hanover Street. Furthermore, movement through this
      area would be improved by the proposed upgrading of the footways and highway. As
      such it is important to provide an active street level frontage onto Clavering Place in
      order to improve public safety and security within the public realm. The street level
      frontage of the proposed development, facing Clavering Place, is dominated by a non-
      active frontage. I am of the opinion that such a frontage would harm the public realm
      and the character of the Central Conservation Area, contrary to PPG6, Policies C3
      and EN1.1 of the Unitary Development Plan, guidance approved by the Development
      Control Committee and contrary to advice from English Heritage and within the Tyne
      Gorge Study.

      Scale, Massing and Design

26.   The proposed development would be situated in a prominent location on the top of the
      River Tyne Escarpment and would be surrounded by a number of buildings of
      significant historical and architectural merit, including Turnbull’s Warehouse, a
      Presbyterian Chapel, Friar House and the High Level Bridge. These facts are
      recognised in various documents and designations, including the Conservation Area
      status, the listing of various nearby buildings, and the observation and conclusions in
      the recent Tyne Gorge Study.

27.   The Tyne Gorge Study states it is desirable to preserve views of key landmark
      buildings and that new development should not have an overbearing effect on historic
      buildings, particularly on existing landmarks such as Turnbull’s Warehouse.
      Additionally, this study identifies, as a threat to the Gorge character, new built
      development that dramatically alters the skyline or has an overbearing effect on
      historic buildings, particularly on existing landmarks such as Turnbull’s Warehouse.

28.   In this instance, I am of the opinion that the proposal would both partly obscure views
      of and downgrade the prominence of the remarkable and recently refurbished
      Turnbull’s Warehouse. This is a key landmark building and it is important that its views
      are preserved, both within a local context and in the context of the wider Tyne Gorge.
      I consider that the current scheme would compete for visual prominence against the
      Turnbull’s Warehouse, contrary to Policies C2, C3, EN1.1 and EN2.1 of the Unitary
      Development Plan and the Tyne Gorge Study.

29.   The 4 August 2000 and 15 September 2000 Committee reports provide specific
      guidance regarding the scale, massing and design of any new developments in
      relation to Clavering Place. The August 2000 reports states that new developments
      should enhance the setting of the existing structures, including several listed
      warehouses, by adopting a simple but high quality, contemporary and contrasting
      palette of building materials. In terms of scale, the 15 September 2000 report
      specifically states that the scale of this part of the Central Conservation Area, with the
      exception of the landmark Turnbull’s Warehouse, is broadly determined by the Listed
      former Georgian houses and by the later 19th Century warehouse buildings in Hanover
      Square. This report goes on to state that new development should respect this scale
      by following the same eaves and ridge heights (the tallest of which is that of Friar
      House). This is approximately 10m and 15m respectively which equates to
      approximately 4/5 storey depending on precise floor to ceiling heights for particular
      uses. Additionally, the Tyne Gorge Study identifies this area as being one “of high
      visual stimulation, not just for the occasional spectacular building, but for the variety of
      scale and style of buildings”.

30.   I consider that the proposed development would appear overly prominent and out of
      scale with the surrounding buildings around Clavering Place and Hanover Square.
      The massing of the upper floors are too bulky and a building of this scale would
      dominate the space rather than reflect its character. Additionally, the single storey flat
      roofed section covering the car park entrance would appear as an incongruous add-on
      in relation to the proposal, to the listed Friar House and the key Clavering Place space
      within the Central Conservation Area. The scheme as a whole would neither preserve
      nor enhance the character of the Central Conservation Area and the adjacent historic
      buildings, contrary to Policies C2, C3 and EN1.1.

31.   The applicant’s statement uses the height of the former Robinson’s Warehouse on
      this site and the height of the approved City Lofts development as arguments for the
      height of this proposal. In terms of City Lofts, the applicant considers that in order for
      the proposal to mark the top of the escarpment, it should appear over the top of the
      City Lofts scheme. However, I contend this point as I believe that every application
      should be determined on its own merits and in relation to the specific local context of a
      site. In this instance, consideration must be given to the scale and massing of the
      Former Georgian Houses and warehouses in Clavering Place and any proposal must
      reflect this scale. I am of the view that the current scheme would dominate the historic
      buildings within Clavering Place and the Turnbull’s Warehouse, to the detriment of the
      character of locality.

32.   The current proposal is for a new development and as such should enhance, preserve
      and make a positive contribution towards the character of the conservation area, in
      accordance with Policy C3. I understand that the former Robinson’s Warehouse was
      six storey in height and that this site has now been vacant for approximately 30 years.
      I believe that the presence of a six storey building once on this site does not in itself
      provide a sufficient justification to warrant consent being granted today for a building
      up to six storey in height that would appear out of character with the historic buildings
      within the conservation area.

33.   In terms of the design and proposed materials, I consider that the proposal does not
      response adequately to the context of the site. The buildings in this area have a
      richness of detail. The proposal is dominated by flat surfaces, large single material
      surfaces and small square windows situated within expanses of brickwork that bear no
      relation to the surrounding properties. Such details are considered to be out of context
      with the adjacent historic buildings and nature of the Central Conservation Area,
      contrary to Policies C2, C3 and EN1.1 of the Unitary Development Plan. Whilst a
      contemporary building could in principle be appropriate for this site, it would need to
      complement the character of the area in a similar manner to the schemes approved
      on neighbouring land at the BEMCO and City Lofts sites respectively.

34.   The owner of Loft 11 within the Turnbull’s Warehouse has raised concern regarding a
      loss of privacy as a consequence of the proposal. The windows in the proposed
      development adjacent to the Turnbulls building have been set on a splay facing
      southwards to reduce opportunities for direct overlooking. Nevertheless, I consider
      the scale of building proposed and its relationship with Turnbull’s Warehouse would
      have an adverse impact upon the outlook and privacy of occupants of Turnbull’s
      Warehouse. The proposal fails Policy H2 of the Unitary Development Plan in this
      respect.

      Highways, Access and Parking Issues

35.   In highway safety terms the provision of 30 parking spaces for 32 apartments is
      considered satisfactory provided that the car park is operated as a community facility
      and that no spaces are dedicated to individual apartments. I consider that the
      proposed parking provision would meet the operational requirements of the
      development, in accordance with Policy T4.5 of the Unitary Development Plan.

36.   Access to the lower level car park would be from the private lane running parallel to
      the southern boundary to the site, providing access to the rear of Turnbull’s
      Warehouse. I understand that this lane is owned by the owners of Turnbull’s and that
      the applicant has legal rights over this lane. This lane is of insufficient width to allow
      two vehicles to pass side by side consequently a traffic light system is proposed. This
      system would prevent a car from exiting the car park should one be accessing the
      lane from Clavering Place and from entering the lane from Clavering Place should a
      car be exiting the car park. However, clarification of the manner in which a vehicle
      would exit the rear of Turnbull’s Warehouse in relation to the operation of the traffic
      light system is required. I consider that this matter could be covered using a Grampian
      style condition.

      Refuse

37.   Refuse generated by the Turnbull’s Warehouse is currently stored in large wheeled
      containers which are positioned to the rear (west) of the Turnbull building and which
      are moved to the end of the lane that runs across the application site on a Sunday
      morning whilst waiting collection. This lane would be used as access into the lower
      ground car park within the application site. The applicant has stated that they have
      legal rights over this lane and that it cannot be obstructed. The issue of the storage of
      the Turnbull’s refuse whilst waiting collection is a matter that would need to be
      addressed in the event that planning permission were to be granted.

      Archaeology

38.   The application site falls within an archaeological sensitive part of Newcastle, within
      the medieval town walls, immediately east of the medieval Carmelite friary and within
      the presumed extent of the Roman civilian settlement (vicus) associated with the forth
      of Pons Aelius, whish stood on the same site as the castle.

39.   Plans of Robinson’s warehouse suggest that the warehouse was basemented, which
      would have destroyed much of the archaeology. The warehouse burnt down in the
      1970s and the site was backfilled with rubble. Geotechnical trial pits which have
      recently been undertaken confirm that up to 2.6m of made ground is present.

40.   It seems unlikely that significant archaeological deposits will have survived on this
      plot. However, given the fact that human remains have previously been found within
      the study area, an archaeological watching brief would be required and an
      archaeological consultant to record anything of archaeological interest revealed during
      excavation works.

      Public Realm Improvements

41.   The area to the south of Central Station has become the focus of considerable
      developer interest, however, access to and within the area is poor and landscaped
      areas are in need of improvement and management to encourage pedestrian
      movement and regeneration. Consequently, this area has been the subject of several
      studies. In March 2000, Llewelyn-Davies, in a study titled “Newcastle Central Station
      Development Options Study”, reported on the proposed regeneration of this area and
      developed a framework to re-integrate the study area to the City and to provide links
      between Grainger Town and the Quayside and between the Elswick Wharfs area and
      the City.

42.   A subsequent report titled “Clavering Place/Tuthill Stairs Area – Developer
      Contributions to Proposed Public Realm Improvements” was approved at Cabinet on
      17 December 2003. This report provides a comprehensive approach to the highway
      and landscaping improvements required throughout the area and provided a funding
      mechanism which apportioned costs between sites. In Clavering Place / Hanover
      Square the report identified the need to upgrade footways and highways and states
      that the contribution required from this particular site would be in the region of
      £107,630.
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

43.       I consider that the proposed scheme is unacceptable in the context of both national
          planning guidance and UDP policies. The proposed development would appear as a
          prominent building, out of scale and character with the Georgian houses and
          warehouse buildings and would have a negative impact in terms of views within and
          around Clavering Place and Hanover Square. The scheme as a whole would have a
          detrimental impact on the character of the Central Conservation Area and the adjacent
          listed buildings. Additionally the street level frontage, facing Clavering Place would be
          dominated by dead frontage, which would harm the public realm and the character of
          the Central Conservation Area. The Committee is recommended that planning
          application 2003/2558/01/DET be refused for the following reasons:

          1. The proposed development by reason of its scale, massing and design would
             appear as a prominent and dominating building, out of scale and character with the
             adjacent listed buildings and the Central Conservation Area. The proposal fails to
             preserve or enhance the character of Clavering Place and Hanover Square and
             the wider Tyne Gorge, to the detriment of the character and visual amenity of the
             locality. The scheme is contrary to Policies C2, C3, EN1.1, EN2.1 and H4 of the
             Unitary Development Plan.

          2. The proposed developed by reason of its siting and design would have an adverse
             impact on the privacy and outlook of the occupiers of Turnbull’s Warehouse to the
             detriment of residential amenity. The proposal is contrary to Policies H2 and H4 of
             the Unitary Development Plan.

          3. The proposal fails to provide an active frontage onto an important pedestrian route.
             Through the positioning of a car park and entrance at ground floor level, the
             elevation that faces Clavering Place would be dominated by a non-active frontage.
             The failure to provide a lively street frontage is to the detriment of the character of
             Central Conservation Area and would harm the public realm, contrary to Policies
             C3 and EN2.1 of the Unitary Development Plan.


BACKGROUND PAPERS

Held by Head of Planning & Transportation on file: 2000/0795/01/DET, 2000/1675/01/DET
2002/0711/01/DET and 2003/2558/01/DET.


Lynda Stevenson, Planning Officer
Extension: 25634, Direct Line: (0191) 211 5634
E-mail: lynda.stevenson@newcastle.gov.uk




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