Knights’ Planning team secured planning permission for a former library in Newcastle-under-Lyme town centre to be transformed into 36 new apartments and street-level commercial units.

The site, on the Ironmarket, is being redeveloped by Drayton Beaumont Group Limited after standing empty for several years following the relocation of the library to the council’s offices at Castle House.

A number of unsuccessful attempts have been made to redevelop the site – attempts that were ultimately constrained by the building’s existing structure.

Drayton Beaumont Group Limited is using its in-house design and construction teams to work within those constraints to create a viable development that will revitalise the building – which dates back to 1890, when it opened a municipal hall to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria, before its renovation and subsequent relaunch as a department stores in the 1970s.

In addition to the new apartments and commercial units, the redeveloped site will also include much-needed underground parking spaces.

Knights’ planners worked alongside Wood Goldstraw Yorath – whose team provided architectural and heritage advice – during both pre-application and planning submission stages to deliver a proposal deemed satisfaction to the Council’s conservation officer and Planning Committee.   

The team demonstrated that scheme is only viable without affordable housing provision and financial contributions – brining in Knights’ planning lawyers to draft a legal agreement to satisfy the Council’s financial viability.

This demonstrates the breadth of Knights’ planning offer to clients. 

The development is now underway with an expectation that the development will be complete in 2023. 

Michael Askew, Associate at Knights, said:

“Drayton Beaumont Group has a track record of working with Knights to deliver high-quality developments in the region, including its own headquarters which is right next door.

“We look forward to working with them to secure more sites in North Staffordshire.”

Stephen Beaumont said:

“It has been a pleasure working with Knights and the Design team on the pre-construction phase of this project. 

“The planning process was fast and Knights helped the process with their valuable advice and the proactive nature of their work. 

“ I would like to say a big thank you to the whole Design team and Knights for making this journey as painless as possible with optimum results by achieving all our aspirations for the scheme.”