North East Developer Modo Bloc has modified its plans to develop a stylish apart-hotel on a site in the Ouseburn, Newcastle.

The rapidly growing Newcastle-based company has re-submitted plans to the city council to build 15 apartments – rather than 28 – within a single, reduced four-storey height structure on Foundry Lane. The proposal to develop a vacant brownfield site builds upon previous planning consent for a mixed-use development by the same design team.

Modo Bloc has taken on board some of the initial concerns raised by planners and reduced the size of the scheme to maintain and enhance the local bio-diversity. A third of the site will now be untouched by the development to maintain the ecology.

The £5 million project will comprise a mixture of one and two bed apartments. It is proposed the ground floor will now only provide space for one retail and commercial unit. There will be six parking spaces and eight spaces for cycles.

Located within the Ouseburn Conservation Area, Miller Partnership Architects have given great care and attention to the heritage and character of the site when designing the structure.

Co-director Steve Miller, who worked on the original Ouseburn Central Masterplan with Newcastle City Council, explained that careful consideration has been given to an architectural approach which adopts the characteristics of surrounding industrial buildings and prominent structures.

Steve said: “The built elements of this proposal are in keeping with the scale of the area. With a limited frontage along Foundry Lane and a desire to give each individual apartment a river / street frontage the overall building is subdivided into units, each with principle living accommodation open to the view.”

Throughout the pre-planning process, Modo Bloc liaised closely with local residents and occupiers to consult on any worries or concerns.

George Jenkins, MD of Modo Bloc, said: “We fully recognise the unique character of the Ouseburn. We have consulted with local stakeholders and our architects have paid particular attention to the local environment. Attention has also been paid to the existing acoustic landscape, recognising the live music that gives the Ouseburn Valley its distinctive character.”

“Our modified proposed development will be designed and built to the same high standard of building construction and interior design as other apart-hotels we have already delivered and are currently delivering elsewhere around Newcastle.

“A new investment like this should also encourage greater tourism for the area, helping create and support employment, while also stimulating local businesses with marketing efforts.”

The project will be styled and developed much like an earlier scheme that Modo Bloc brought to the market in 2021 – Chelmsford Lofts, a stylish 8-flat aparthotel in Sandyford, Newcastle. Managed by Your Lofts, the concept is proving popular with people booking weekend ‘staycations’ and longer corporate stays. Modo Bloc is currently redeveloping a former care home, at Springfield Park, Forest Hall into 12 self-serviced luxury apartments.

The Ouseburn proposal will be the third apart-hotel to be run by Your Lofts.

George said: “We have ambitious plans to build more design-led homes and develop more land for both residential and commercial use with exceptional craftsmanship at the forefront. We’re always looking at interesting investment and development options in North East communities and beyond.”