Stirling prize-winners' next housing scheme undergoes public inquiry in Gateshead

A housing development designed by the winners of the 2008 Stirling prize faces refusal from the secretary of state following a planning inquiry, it has emerged.

The £76m redevelopment of North Dene House in Gateshead fell foul of local planning authorities during the summer, and was forced to face a public inquiry in the Northern English city.

The prize-winning Accordia scheme in Cambridge, which was designed by the same architects as the Gateshead scheme

Its architects are Fielden Clegg Bradley and Macreanor Lavington, which along with Alison Brooks Architects won the Stirling prize in October for their Accordia housing development in Cambridge.

The Gateshead scheme, which has been described by the developers as the “Accordia of the North-east”, involves the restoration and conversion of North Dene House, a Victorian villa, and the construction of 260 new homes.

English Heritage commented on the scheme in February 2008 and called it a “considered approach to placemaking”.

However, it was turned down by Gateshead council in July on the grounds that it was too high-density, that a five-storey building would disrupt the views from surrounding properties, and that there was insufficient parking space.

One source said a “technicality” had robbed the development of planning permission. He said: “It is especially annoying as it was a technicality and something that could easily have been solved. Now we're not even sure it can go ahead.”

Grainger, the scheme's developer, appealed the decision and it was called in for a public inquiry, which ended last week. The secretary of state is expected to rule on it in the first quarter of next year.