Redevelopment of former North Shields office block site underway

Work has begun to clear the site of a derelict former North Shields office block to make way for 28 high-quality family homes.

Unicorn House, in Suez Street, has stood empty for more than seven years.

The redevelopment of the site to provide high-quality family housing is part of North Tyneside Council’s Ambition for North Shields and the Fish Quay regeneration master plan.

The master plan aims to transform the town centre into an environment where more people choose to live, work and spend their leisure time.

Once the site is cleared, work will get underway to build 22 three-bedroom townhouses, two one-bed apartments and four two-bed apartments. The development will also include new affordable homes.

Off-street parking will be included on Stephenson Street and Norfolk Street, as well as private parking to the rear.

The apartments will also have their own car park, while fresh landscaping and tree planting will create a leafy and modern street scene.

It complements other master plan projects including the revival of Georgian terraced homes at nearby Northumberland Square, as well as the North Shields Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) project - a four-year programme of physical improvements, community and cultural activities aimed at revitalising the Northumberland Square Conservation Area.

Demolition of the vacant three-storey office block will be paid for by The North of Tyne Combined Authority using £1.3 million from its Brownfield Housing Programme.

North of Tyne’s £24m Brownfield Housing Programme is being used to regenerate unused and brownfield sites to see up to 2,000 homes built in Newcastle, Northumberland and North Tyneside by 2025.

John Sparkes, Director of Regeneration and Economic Development, North Tyneside Council, said: “It’s really positive to see the redevelopment of the derelict former Unicorn House site getting underway.

“This development will provide high-quality family homes that are needed in the town centre and transform a disused piece of land.

“New housing is an important feature of the master plan for North Shields and these new homes have been designed to stay in keeping with their surroundings and in a contemporary style with long-term sustainability and the wider regeneration of the town in mind.”