New plans to transform Bigg Market offices into residential apartments submittedPosted on: 20 December, 2023
Ambitious new plans to redevelop a prominent Newcastle city centre office block into residential accommodation have been submitted for approval.
Welcomed as a further boost for city centre living, Newcastle-based asset management firm Monument Real Estate is aiming to secure detailed planning consent for the complete redevelopment of 2 Cathedral Square in the heart of Newcastle’s popular Bigg Market area.
The application seeks consent for extensive exterior and interior enhancements including a host of sustainability improvements. The plans include the addition of an extra three floors to the current structure to accommodate the creation of 139 serviced apartments.
If approved, the new investment will help transform the office building which was constructed on the site of the former town hall in the mid-1970s. Fifty years on, the largely vacant 2 Cathedral Square is now in need of a significant revamp to deliver a more energy efficient and fit-for-purpose building to meet the needs of modern city-centre living.
Designed by Newcastle-based Xsite Architecture, the proposed scheme will see the existing structural frame re-used, saving embodied carbon from being released into the atmosphere and lowering the amount of new building materials required. A new cladding system will also feature, offering far greater insulation levels to reduce heat consumption and provide long-term energy savings.
The submission is expected to be considered by Newcastle City Council in the first quarter of 2024 and if it gets the green light, redevelopment work will follow with the first apartments potentially available in 2025.
Demand for high quality serviced residential accommodation in the city centre remains high, said Tom Wooldridge, director and founder of Monument, with significant investment and regeneration throughout the Bigg Market already underway or in the pipeline.
He said: “Our latest plans for 2 Cathedral Square further support the significant investment that has been made to rejuvenate this historic part of Newcastle. There is a strong desire to invest in the building to raise it to a much higher standard of residential accommodation than the existing property would be able to offer.”
Helen Marks, director at planning consultancy DPP, said: “The planning consent secured in 2022 does not enable Monument to enhance the exterior of the property. The current building is outdated, and the fresh proposals will allow them to bring forward a fantastic redevelopment project, which is far more appropriate for this culturally rich and historic part of central Newcastle.”
Xsite Architecture’s head of practice, Tim Bailey, added: “A building as significant as 2 Cathedral Square, standing in such a central location, should ideally have more stature than it currently has. Our designs seek to elevate its prominence and deliver a high standard of city centre living to meet 21st century needs.”