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Major apartment scheme planned for Ouseburn

Businessman and former Northumbria University student George Jenkins is spearheading an ambitious £25m residential development overlooking the Ouseburn, in Newcastle.

George Jenkins, MD of Modo Bloc, is planning to redevelop an old, brownfield site in the Ouseburn. He has submitted plans to Newcastle City Council to redevelop the almost one-acre site that comprises the existing Grieveson’s commercial yard on Leighton Street and Byker Bank.

The proposals seek full planning permission for the demolition of the existing buildings on site and redevelopment to build 84 one, two and three-bedroom apartments.

A range of smaller flexible business units designed to accommodate small-scale retail and commercial operators to complement the existing range of outlets in the area is also proposed.

For George, this Ouseburn project is the largest scheme he has embarked on since setting up his Newcastle business, after leaving Northumbria University in the mid to late Noughties after qualifying in estate management.

Modo Bloc has a strong social responsibility agenda, collaborating closely with communities where its developments are located. The company is also supporting several local charities through its development work including the homelessness charity, Oasis Community Housing – supporting and housing a homeless person for every new house or two flats it sells this year.

George said:

“This exciting high-end development will regenerate an under-used, derelict site in the fabulous Ouseburn area. We’re aiming to provide a diverse range of new, high-quality homes that will bring this site back to life to make it a living, lively environment.

“The delivery of a small number of new, flexible commercial businesses will increase and complement the current offer within the Ouseburn. The two-year build programme will support direct full-time employment in construction and indirect jobs in the local supply chain.”

The plans and proposed design have been developed in response to the unique cultural, historic and environmental characteristics of the Ouseburn Valley. Special attention has been given to the landscaping.

George said:

“We recognise the unique landscape and ecology of the Ouseburn. Careful consideration has been given to the overall design and materials used to ensure our scheme enhances the local distinctiveness and individuality of the area. We have worked closely with the city council on the design within the constraints of the site.

“The scheme will be a contemporary, high-quality design that will complement the essential character of the conservation area. High quality build and location will be the big selling points for this development.”

Modo Bloc has worked hard to keep local businesses and residents informed with a series of one-to-one meetings along with a public consultation exercise undertaken by planning specialists at Newcastle-based Lichfields.

Apartments have been arranged to create an acoustic barrier blocking sound from the nearby Cumberland Arms, with internal layouts designed to provide residents with an outlook over a new landscaped public courtyard.

The scheme will feature a range of one, two and three-bedroom flats and several spectacular three-bedroom penthouses that will include roof gardens. Balconies and/or terraces will be a feature of all properties. Many of the flats will enjoy great views over the Ouseburn.

The development will provide limited parking spaces. Given the highly sustainable location of the site, priority will be given to support travel by cycling, walking and public transport.

The Newcastle-based professional team working and advising on the development including specialist planning consultants Lichfields, award-winning Ouseburn-based Miller Partnership Architects, and acoustics consultants Apex Acoustics.