Placefirst’s 146 home BTR neighbourhood in Newcastle approved at planning committee


Leading and award-winning build-to-rent provider Placefirst has had plans approved at planning committee for its 146 home suburban build-to-rent scheme known as Benwell Dene in Newcastle’s West End.


The development, located two miles west of Newcastle city centre, will transform the 2.75ha brownfield site which has been vacant for over a decade into a range of high quality two, three and four-bedroom homes, built specifically for long term private rent. 37 of the properties will be fully Part M4(2) accessible and adaptable homes.

Designed by JM Architects and Southern Green, Benwell Dene takes inspiration from the historic layout of the site, and will create a modern and sustainable interpretation of the traditional terrace street pattern, with unique communal spaces which maximise views across the Tyne Valley.

Other key members of the project team include civil and structural engineers, Curtins, project managers and planning consultants, Identity Consult, and MEP consultants, TACE.

Benwell Dene will be one of Placefirst’s most energy efficient and sustainable schemes yet. Homes have been designed to a high specification, with a fabric first approach to maximise thermal efficiency and renewable technologies including photovoltaic panels and air source heat pumps, which will lower bills for residents. The scheme will also include electric vehicle charging and an electric car club.

The design integrates a network of sustainable urban drainage systems and Placefirst’s well renowned communal green spaces, as well as public open space and an area dedicated to habitat creation and biodiversity net gain.

Construction at Benwell Dene is expected to commence later this year. On completion, Placefirst remain on site and maintain and manage every aspect of the neighbourhood, which will include a dedicated resident services manager.

Benwell Dene will add to Placefirst’s impressive portfolio of award-winning neighbourhoods in the North East. Other schemes include ‘Scholars View’ in Hetton-le-Hole, a thriving community of 116 new build homes, ‘The Oaks’ at Esh Winning in Durham, where work is underway to build the largest delivery of bungalows in a generation in the area, and ‘The Green’ in Hartlepool, where construction of the final phase began in May. Placefirst were also recently appointed as Sunderland City Council’s development partner for the second phase of its ambitious Riverside Masterplan known as ‘Farringdon Row’.

James Litherland, head of planning at Placefirst commented: “We are excited that our plans to transform this prominent site in the heart of the West End have been approved by planning committee. We want to create a thriving community that benefits from unique communal spaces and excellent views across the Tyne Valley.

“With a fantastic track record across the North East, our aim is to continue that by setting the standard for single family BTR in Newcastle at Benwell Dene. We look forward to starting on site later in the year.”

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