Registry Office Returns To Residential Use
12 July 2019 Local News
The former Register Office at Sidmouth Avenue, Newcastle, is set to be converted back into residential accommodation.
Cabinet members have agreed proposals to sell the original building, after securing planning permission to convert it back from offices, and with options to convert it to either a single four or five bedroom property or two self-contained apartments.
The rest of the plot around the building would also be sold with planning permission for three other detached properties.
Cllr. Paul Northcott, Cabinet member for planning and growth, said: “The registry offices have been a familiar landmark on the outskirts of Newcastle for many years but the buildings became surplus to requirements when the county council’s Registrars and Trading Standards Services relocated to the newly-built Castle House last year. The buildings have remained empty since.
“We have a duty to make sure that the original 19th century building and the residual land is used to its maximum potential by preserving the original residential dwelling on the site and at the same time allowing the creation of some top-quality homes in an idyllic edge-of-town location next to beautiful, open parkland and surrounded by mature trees.
“There will be a covenant on the original building preventing its conversion to a house of multiple occupancy (HMO) in the future, in order to protect the high-quality, semi-rural nature of the location – but it would be a real shame to simply leave the existing buildings empty, redundant and under-utilised.”
The former registry offices building, which has been empty since last year, occupies a prominent site in a conservation area on the edge of Newcastle but is not listed. The offices have been owned by the Council on a freehold basis since 1955 but the original part was constructed as a detached house in or around 1870.
This initiative will be funded by £100,000 ring-fenced in the Council’s 2019-20 Capital Programme to be used towards “accelerating residential and commercial development” as part of the Growth Fund announced by Cabinet in January this year.
The Capital Programme will be ‘refunded’ once the sale of the property and the land has been completed and this has been anticipated for the 2021 financial year.