UKCW 2018

NEC BIRMINGHAM   09-11 OCTOBER 2018

new docks copy

Top TV architect George Clarke has revealed he is designing the next set of factory-built houses at an historic former shipyard in North Shields.

The Sunderland-born star, famed for programme’s such as Channel 4’s Restoration Man, The Great British Property Scandal and George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces, will create 10 FAB houses at Smith’s Dock.

A total of 24 three-storey town houses have already been installed on the site as part of a regeneration project led by Places for People and Urban Splash. These were built in a factory in Nottinghamshire before being transported to North Shields and erected on site.

And the next 10 homes, which will be two-storey high, will be designed by Mr Clarke.

The TV presenter, who grew up in Washington and studied architecture at Newcastle University, said: “For 15 years now I’ve watched the modular market and waited to make my move.

“Smith’s Dock was the perfect opportunity for me – primarily because I get to be a part of this ambitious regeneration project, but also because I can bring my passion for raising the standard of UK homes through modular development. I’ve been carrying out research on this for three years.

“This is a fantastic North East site, not just because it sits near the river, but also because of the history of Smith’s Dock.

“For me, being involved is quite exciting - this is chance for me to create some new-build beautiful homes. They will be called FAB houses - an abbreviation for factory-built, affordable and beautiful.”

He said the housing industry needed to show more innovation than the bland “Noddy-box” homes that were popping up across the country.

He added: “These Noddy-box houses may have good insulation, more energy efficient boilers and double glazing but they take a long time to build, and we are not the driest or warmest place in the world.

“I’ve always thought, why don’t we build houses the same way we build cars - highly-engineered by technicians and engineers in a factory.

“The idea is to create off-site manufactured homes of the best quality. This is the first step forward in a new way of building homes and creating new ways of living.”

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People will be able to see the first 24 homes at Smith’s Dock on Saturday, from 11am. The properties will be on sale with prices from £285,000.

There will also be a pop-up heritage exhibition to celebrate the yard’s history, and local traders will be on hand to serve refreshments to visitors.

Tynemouth Coffee Co have created a special limited edition Smith’s Dock blend which will launch at the event.

Mary Parsons, from Places for People, said: “I’m delighted that the day has come and we can now launch for sale the first homes at Smith’s Dock. The Plateau is the first of many developments here as we strive to create a fantastic new waterfront community, breathing life into a cherished area and home to much of North Shields’ heritage.”

Writer and historian John Grundy gave a thumbs-up to the scheme.

He said: “One of the things the developers did was to consult with local people, who have a very powerful sense of identity and heritage.

“What people wanted was a sense of what Smith’s Dock had been, not only physically with the docks, but also with its memories. They wanted that incorporated into the regeneration project and that is what is happening.

“This scheme is bringing life back to the riverside. It’s very exciting and I believe this will be a thrilling place to live.”

The former shipyard will ultimately feature around 800 homes, including 80 waterfront apartments known as Smokehouses that have already been granted planning permission and are currently under construction.

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Source : Chronicle Live 

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