North East property developer Modo Bloc is hoping to get the green light to regenerate the derelict site of an old petrol filling station at Neville’s Cross, Durham.
The Newcastle-based developer is seeking planning permission to build 12 modern family townhouses on the site, which sits just off the A167 Newcastle Road. The development is being recommended for approval by planning officers at Durham County Council.
Greatspace Architects have designed the carbon conscious development to sensitively fit within its Conservation Area location. Lush, green landscaping will be a feature of the proposed scheme.
The brownfield site, a gateway into Durham, has become something of an eyesore, overgrown and riddled with the invasive Japanese knotweed.
George Jenkins, MD of Modo Bloc, explained: “This is a prime location on a main approach into Durham City that’s in desperate need of regeneration. It’s an eyesore that needs careful attention to breathe some life back into it.
“There is a clear lack of family homes in and around Durham and our proposal would go some way to easing the housing shortage in the local area. We hope to create a micro-community in this part of Neville’s Cross.
“We recognise there is some local unease to any new development, but we have listened to local concerns and taken these into consideration when designing the site. The development will also have a big focus on sustainability and have a low environmental impact.”
Elevations have been carefully considered with homes incorporating sunken gardens, a storey that is below ground level and a top floor nestled into the roofline. The homes are inspired by the traditional Durham townhouse with brick detailing and arched windows to reference the areas rich history. The design detail proposed is premium specification.
Modo Bloc is committed to using local contractors and suppliers during the remediation and construction phases. The project is expected to create significant employment for local people during construction.
There’s also a wider social benefit. The current site owner is a Christian charity and proceeds from the land sale will go towards the work of Life Trust.
Earlier this year Modo Bloc formed a partnership with Christian homelessness charity Oasis Community Housing to donate £2,000 towards housing and supporting a homeless person for every new house or two flats it sells this year. The completion and successful sale of Neville’s Cross would result in £24,000 going towards Oasis Community Housing.
David Smith, chief executive of Oasis Community Housing, said: “There is a real synergy between the work we do as a homeless charity and Modo Bloc – they really share our values. The social value the partnership enables us to create has a substantial impact for the people we serve and the local communities we work in.
“Currently for every £1 Modo Bloc invest in us we are able to return £5 of social value – which doesn’t include any of the beneficial in-kind support they offer us. We are truly grateful for their support.”