The Coal Yard: How One Historic Site Went from Derelict Site to Beautiful Home 

Our planners, Alison and Jo recently had the opportunity to visit our former clients on a very special project – and they jumped at the chance to return to the historic site! 

Six years ago, Cross House Cottage and the former coal yard were a collection of dilapidated buildings. 

However, the potential to create a distinctive residential development at the edge of the beautiful Wallsend Conservation Area was spotted by local residents Ron and Philippa. 

Ron and Philippa had worked with EP’s founding director, Allen Creedy, on previous projects, so EP was an obvious choice to help them realise their dreams for the site. “Allen was brilliant at talking us through the process and making us feel like it was possible”, Philippa said. “He had such knowledge and always made you feel so at ease. It was a real pleasure to work with him”. 

While Allen provided oversight of the planning strategy and process, Alison took on the clients’ ideas for how to turn the group of buildings into a sensitively designed scheme working collaboratively to create designs, statements and drawings required for the planning application.

Alison stated. “It was so special, being able to listen to what Ron and Philippa wanted to achieve, and turn that into reality. And to take it from a 3d paper model, all the way through the planning application and getting a successful outcome was so satisfying.” 

“At that point, I had recently started with EP, and I supported Alison with writing the planning and heritage statements, outlining the relationship of the buildings to the history of the area – and what they could be in the future. Because it was such a bespoke, design-focused project where understanding the site and area history was crucial, it was a brilliant introduction to heritage issues and how to marry preserving our historic buildings with sustainable development”, Jo added. 

Ron and Phillippa are now enjoying living in the house, which is nestled next to a wooded dene. “The views of the trees are just perfect. We both run businesses and this home provides us with the perfect place to rest and relax. We plan to live here for a very, very long time.”

Two local residents offered their praise for the home on the roadside: “That used to be a blemish on the local area. It was fire damaged and falling down, and in a bad condition. But the mix of the old and new is really interesting – and they’ve done it so well. It’s now a credit to the area and a brilliant gateway to the green.” 

This sustainable reuse has secured the historic site for future generations while the renovation is sympathetic to the site’s industrial history and preserves the relationships between the buildings.

If Ethical Planning can help you with planning, heritage or historic site appraisals, please do not hesitate to get in touch

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