Ward Hadaway homes in on multi-million pound housing project | 20 October 07

Law firm Ward Hadaway has helped to build a new future for a key regeneration site on the banks of the Tyne.

The Newcastle-based firm advised national housebuilders Barratt and Persimmon on the acquisition of the 35-acre former Stella South power station site near Blaydon.

A team from Ward Hadaway’s property department worked with the two housebuilders on acquiring the site and overcoming planning issues for the multi-million pound brownfield development scheme.

More than 500 homes, ranging from two bedroom apartments to five bedroom houses, will be built on the land on the south bank of the Tyne.

A river walkway and a pub/restaurant are also being planned for the development, to be called Riverside Crescent.

Lesley Fairclough, partner in the property department at Ward Hadaway, led the firm’s team on the deal.

She said: “This was a long-term project which we are delighted to see come to fruition.

“In many ways, it is a classic example of regeneration with a disused brownfield site being remediated and transformed into a key new housing development with added benefits to the local community.”

As well as Ward Hadaway’s well-established experience in the housing field, the firm’s planning and regeneration expertise was called upon to help Barratt and Persimmon complete the acquisition.

Ms Fairclough said: “There are a number of conditions attached to the planning permission for the site, including putting in a new bus route to link the development to Blaydon bus station, but all these will be successfully fulfilled to help create what will hopefully be a vibrant new community on the banks of the Tyne.”

A total of 522 homes are being built on the site.

Barratt Newcastle Managing Director Bernard Rooney said: “We are delighted to be regenerating the Stella South power station site.

"It has taken several years to secure planning permission for the Riverside Crescent development and we are grateful to Ward Hadaway for all their input into this project.

“Following two planning refusals and a high court challenge, we secured detailed planning permission at appeal in December 2001, albeit with 47 conditions, all of which have now been finally discharged, now resulting in a total development of 522 units.”

Peter Jordan, Persimmon Homes’ regional projects director, said: “With over 500 properties, Persimmon Homes’ new Stella South development offers a unique living environment located close to the facilities of the Metro Centre as well as the gateway to the Tyne Valley and the rural landscape beyond.

“The development sees a new chapter in the life of this iconic North East site - which many people may not know was the site of the Blaydon Races and the location of the Battle of Newburn in 1640.

“Considering its geographical and historic connections, the development will include a range of striking areas - from urban riverside apartments to detached dwellings overlooking a village green.

“With a residential offering that ranges from 2 bedroom apartments to 5 bedroom detached houses, we have ensured that all properties on-site will have access to plenty of green space and riverside views.”

Riverside Crescent is the latest in a long series of developments on which Ward Hadaway has advised both Barratt and Persimmon.

The firm’s status in the North-East’s housebuilding sector prompted independent legal directory Chambers & Partners to call Ward Hadaway “the undisputed champion of residential development” in its 2007 guide to the UK legal profession.