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Boost for £40m Newcastle PRS tower

A second major private rented sector scheme in Newcastle-upon-Tyne could get the green light this week.

Planning officers at Newcastle City Council recommended that the 26-storey Rutherford Street tower be approved when the city’s planning committe meets on Thursday.

The project, proposed by developer Citygrove, would be one of the tallest towers in the city. 

It would add to the area’s burgeoning PRS sector, after Newcastle’s first large-scale private rented development got under way in December.

The Rutherford Street scheme would provide 162 apartments in the city centre on a site currently occupied by a vacant warehouse.

The £40m scheme was designed by architects Faulkner Browns.

As part of the planning application, the developer made a section 106 legal agreement to provide £515,000 of funding towards public realm, particularly around the city’s Grade I-listed town walls.

The developer will also make the building’s roof publicly accessible 18 times a year.

After consultation, objections to the plans included complaints that the development would have a negative impact on surrounding heritage assets and accusations that the design was “out of character” for the area.

Historic England warned the development would be “harmful” to the Print Works and Charlotte Square, which are both Grade II-listed, and Blackfriars, which is a scheduled monument and Grade I-listed.

However, planning officers said the project would provide benefits including “its regeneration effect on this part of the city, its financial benefits through job creation, and wider fiscal benefits and the message it would send to future investors in the city”.

A joint venture of real estate investor Moorfield Group and developers Panacea Property Development and Worthington Properties is already delivering a £37m PRS project at Forth Banks, a brownfield site close to the city’s central station.

The scheme will deliver a total of 280 apartments alongside 3,000 sq ft of retail space on the ground floor.

Other projects currently being developed by Citygrove include an office refurbishment at 60 London Wall in the capital, which will provide 486,000 sq ft of Grade A office space.

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