Northumberland County Council have granted planning permission to Northumberland-based developer, Ashford Residential Ltd, for the construction of 18 luxury apartments on land to the east of Cottingwood Lane in Morpeth.

The flagship development for Morpeth has been a three year labour of love for the company’s MD, Chris Carlisle, an award-winning developer who assembled the strong and highly professional team of architects and planners to realise his vision of creating spacious luxury apartments with undercroft parking and lifts to all floors on this unique site.

Designed by Newcastle-based JDDK Architects working with the Newcastle office of development consultancy, Lichfields, the application was submitted in June following an extensive period of public consultation which resulted in both design changes and the inclusion of a communal garden on surplus land for neighbouring residents to the end of South Terrace. A previous planning application by McCarthy and Stone for 52 retirement living apartments on the same site was refused with the subsequent appeal dismissed in 2013.

JDDK Director and Project Architect, Nicky Watson, commented, “It’s a wonderful location within a few minutes’ walk of the first class amenities of Morpeth town centre and surrounded by an established neighbourhood of substantial houses.”

“The new proposals differ significantly from the earlier scheme and has addressed the grounds on which the previous application was refused and comments resulting from the extensive public consultation. Instead of one large block, we have split the physical mass by designing the apartments in the style of two pairs of large semi-detached houses of two storeys each with a limited third storey in the roof. A dressed stone section, on which a Morpeth emblem will be carved, gives the impression of separating each building into two large, traditional, brick built houses.“

“The buildings are aligned to give the maximum number of apartments a south or west aspect—not only does this create bright and sunny interiors, but also maximises views to the shared gardens and mature trees around the site and, from the upper apartments, over the rooftops of Morpeth. All the apartments have access to private outdoor space in the form of either a private patio, balcony or modest roof terrace.”

Lichfields’ planning director, Alastair Willis, said, “This is a fantastic development, adopting the high-quality design principles, and reflecting the scale and character of the surrounding streets. The design team has worked together for three years to achieve a scheme which is befitting of the site and surrounding area, delivering a positive addition to the Morpeth townscape. Furthermore the development will support 50 construction jobs and boost the local economy by over £7m.”

“It is a sensitive location and planning permission could only be achieved with a carefully considered planning strategy and a commitment to meaningful engagement with surrounding residents.  The applicant’s positive approach to public consultation has been central to delivering a scheme of the quality proposed and achieving support of the planning committee.”

Ashford residential director, Chris Carlisle, added: ““The planning committee’s decision is a huge milestone for Ashford Residential in the development of this project.  We have worked with a great team for three years to realise a scheme of such high quality which is befitting of this part of Morpeth.

“Ashford Residential will now be working through the planning conditions to start on site in spring 2021, with a build programme of approximately 24 months.  We already have expressions of interest on more than half of the properties and will be speaking to prospective residents over the coming months.”

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