Historic England has welcomed FaulknerBrowns’ plans to demolish historic quayside factories next to the Grade I-listed High Level Bridge in Gateshead
The Newcastle-based AJ100 practice submitted the plans for a residential-led development on the south bank of the Tyne back in September.
Two blocks of nine or 10 storeys would provide 262 flats for private rental, alongside offices, shops, cafés and restaurants.
The scheme, for developer The High Street Group, would see the demolition of manufacturing buildings previously occupied by Brett Oils.
The buildings are in the the Bridges Conservation Area, named after Robert Stephenson’s celebrated crossing, which was once ‘the towns industrial and domestic heart’, according to Highways England.
But the heritage body has thrown its weight behind the scheme, telling Gateshead Council that the FaulknerBrown proposal does not seek to compete in scale and mass with the High Level Bridge.
The new, stepped blocks would ‘to a degree, reflect the historic relationship between the soaring set-piece architecture of the High Level Bridge and the varied finer grain of buildings [surrounding it]’, it said.
It also noted that the development would help rejuvenate the quayside area, while the former Brett Oils estate has little re-use potential.
But Historic England said the off-white and dark grey brick tones are ‘unusual […] along this part of the gorge’ and ‘may appear out of place, or may just be close enough to fit’.
The application has received 17 comments from members of the public, 16 of which have objected to it.
FaulknerBrowns has previously worked with High Street on Hadrian’s Tower, which will be the tallest building in Newcastle when construction is complete.