New future for city centre landmark buildingPosted on: 24 May, 2022
A North East real estate company has secured a new future for a prominent office block in Newcastle’s Bigg Market twelve months after its £8m acquisition.
Cathedral Square, which comprises of two buildings totalling 100,000 sq ft, will soon see the development of 35 new residential units after planning consent was secured by Monument Real Estate (Monument) to convert vacant offices within 2 Cathedral Square.
In recent weeks the firm has also completed a lease renewal at 1 Cathedral Square, which will see the Secretary of State remain in occupation of 37,000 sq ft of office space until at least 2028.
Tom Wooldridge, executive director and founder of Monument, said: “On the first anniversary of our purchase we have delivered both the lease renewal and residential consent which together make for a very promising and exciting future for Cathedral Square.
“Our proposed development of 2 Cathedral Square will see vacant offices repurposed under Permitted Development Rights for an alternative use, where there is genuine demand. Our designs for the residential scheme will have a positive impact on the building and continue the fantastic regeneration journey of this city centre location.”
Monument, which was established in 2016 and works out of offices in Newcastle and Leeds, acquired the building last summer with the backing of a consortium of private investors. The
firm is now working towards securing full planning consent before the end the year, with a view to commencing conversion works in 2023.
Tim Bailey, partner at Xsite Architecture, who is working with Monument on the residential plans, commented: “We are delighted to have helped gain this permission. Repurposing existing buildings is a key part of our sustainable futures and changing use to accelerate a vibrant mixed-use city centre aligns with Newcastle’s ambitions for a ’15-minute city’.”
The “15 minute city” concept, in which everyone has access to local goods, services and leisure within a 15-minute walk or cycle ride of their home, forms part of the Net Zero Newcastle – 2030 Action Plan.
Helen Marks, planning consultant, previously at YoungsRPS but now at DPP Planning, said: “We were able to enter into productive dialogue with the local planning authority at Newcastle City Council to find solutions to the issues arising from the site’s location in the Bigg Market and ultimately secure a successful planning outcome.”
Mark Howarth, director at Sandy Brown acoustic consultants, added: “We’re pleased to have worked with a great team to develop a new use for such a centrally located building in the vibrant city centre.”