Gateshead based firm Gradon Architecture are nearing completion on a multi-million development of a series of grade II listed buildings on Newgate Street in Morpeth, with the project due to be finished by December 2020.
Gradon have been working with local developers Northumberland Homes since 2017 on the site, which comprises of former local authority building Wansbeck House and the Old Registry Building. Prior to Gradon Architecture being assigned the redesign, an original survey had been undertaken of the site to decipher the conditions of the building. However, due to maintenance neglect, the original fabric of the buildings had deteriorated substantially, and a full restoration and refurbishment was required.
Gradon’s design has consisted of a full renovation and refurbishment of the buildings to convert them into 12 bespoke apartments, with a further four new cottages having been built within the grounds. The apartments are a mix of two and three bedroom, each with a large open plan kitchen and living space and associated parking provision totalling 18 spaces, an allowance of 1.5 spaces per dwelling and visitor parking.
Elements of the main building can be traced back to the mid-18th Century, where the house was originally used as the dwelling of local merchants. Since then it has been used for a number of purposes, such as the site of the former Morpeth Grammar School for Girls and then various municipal buildings for Northumberland County Council including The Morpeth Registry Office.
Gradon’s design has therefore been informed by the building’s historical context and the team were conscious of the need to restore as much of the building’s original fabric and periodic features as possible, whilst also creating commercially viable and contemporary homes. Garry Herron, one of the three directors of Northumberland Homes has said of the success of the project, “The Directors at Northumberland Homes have worked closely with Chris and Rob from Gradon Architects over the last 2 years and have always found them to be excellent to deal with. We’d be happy to recommend Gradon to others and to use them again on a future project.”
Gradon have a vast amount of experience working in the refurbishment sector of older buildings, with owners Graham and Donna McDarby renovating a 19th Century Methodist Church in Ryton to create the NE40 Studios and base for Gradon Architecture. The practice has also recently secured planning permission for the redesign of Strathmore Road Methodist Church and are in the process of submitting planning applications for Blackmore Hill Methodist Church and a large residential development in Whitley Bay.
Gradon’s Architectural Director Chris Allan, who has led the design team for Newgate Street and worked closely with the Directors at Northumberland Homes has said, “We are delighted to see the final results of this project, having worked collaboratively with our Clients Northumberland Homes and Northumberland Council to overcome initial issues in design and planning, we have successfully delivered our clients vision of a high-end residential development which has recaptured the history of the building.”
Prices for the accommodation begin at £175,000 for the apartments and the development is expected to be fully completed by early 2020.