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Number/street name:
Buddle Road

Address line 2:

Newcastle upon Tyne


MawsonKerr Architects

Architect contact number:
0191 2301799

Cohousing upon Tyne and TOWN.

Planning Authority:
Newcastle City Council

Planning consultant:

Planning Reference:

Date of Completion:

Schedule of Accommodation:
2 x 1 Bed Flat; 2 x 2 Bed Flat; 3 x 1 Bed House; 7 x 2 Bed House; 7 x 3 Bed House; 2 x 4 Bed House; 2 x 2 Bed Duplex; Common House.

Tenure Mix:
100% affordable on a Mutual Home Ownership Scheme Basis

Total number of homes:

Site size (hectares):
1.2 (including woodland to the South)

Net Density (homes per hectare):

Size of principal unit (sq m):

Smallest Unit (sq m):

Largest unit (sq m):

No of parking spaces:

Scheme PDF Download

Planning History

Cohousing upon Tyne (COHUT) is an intergenerational cohousing group established in Newcastle in 2015. Having considered a range of potential sites across the city, working closely with the City Council (which owns the land) it selected this site on Buddle Road, Benwell, for its combination of proximity to the city centre and local amenities, good transport links and green surroundings. The site was previously that of South Benwell School, demolished in 1994 creating the existing plateau. A planning application was submitted for the cohousing community in late 2020 and subject to a resolution to grant permission in December 2021.

The Design Process

The design takes the form of four terraces arranged around a central garden, with a ‘common house’ at the north-east corner close to the site access from Violet Close. The terraces are set back from the site edges which are formed, to the north and east, by adopted highways at different levels from the site and, to the south, by the edge of the Tyne gorge escarpment characterised by a significant drop in levels towards Scotswood Road. The layout thus creates a protected edge from noise and wind, with living spaces able to connect to the landscape and a sheltered central garden. Parking is located on the east edge of the site, and cars will be shared within the group. A large amount of secure cycle storage is provided.
Plots have been designed to be broadly interchangeable based on a standard plan module. The adopted mix includes one, two, three and four-bed houses and one and two-bed flats and duplexes all of which adopt the ‘Tyneside’ model of private front doors, so there is no residential circulation space. The smaller, lower houses are on the South terrace, encouraging sunlight to the garden. The landscape design creates a framework to allow the cohousing group to complete planting and furnishing itself. The common house acts as the arrival point into the community and contains a kitchen, flexible dining/gathering space, meeting room and laundry.
Architecturally, the language is of vertical proportions and generous solid-void ratios, with gabled roof that produce a sawtooth effect, adapting the form that characterised this part of Newcastle before it was, largely, cleared. Hung tiles and slates will clad street-facing elevations, providing variety in colour and tone as well as robustness, while south-facing elevations will be timber-clad, providing a softer, natural backdrop to the garden.

Choose a few key elements you want to promote

Mutual Home Ownership Scheme
co-operative cohousing in the west end of Newcastle
Low Embodied Carbon

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Scheme Information


  • Cohousing
  • Innovative House Types
  • Terrace
  • Town house


  • Medium density
  • Compact


  • Shared Ownership


  • Community Consultation
  • Custom build
  • Urban Regeneration


  • Contemporary Design
  • Modern methods


  • Biodiversity (eg Building with Nature)

Outdoor areas

  • Roof Gardens
  • Roof Terrace
  • Outside Terrace
  • Biodiversity
  • Garden

Surrounding Area

  • Landscape
  • Communal Spaces
  • Community Buildings


  • Community


The project is on brownfield land in Newcastle’s regenerating West End. Local shops and amenities are a short walk away, and good bus and cycle routes to the city centre are available. As such, and in accordance with CoHUT’s ethos, car parking is reduced to a minimum. The scheme is intended to achieve a combination of the Passivhaus Classic Standard and the Passvihaus Institut Low Energy Building Standard. PHPP modelling was used in developing the planning scheme. The north and west blocks have optimal conditions and will seek full Passivhaus certification while the south and west blocks, principally due to overshading from adjacent mature trees, will hit the secondary standard. The basis of this will be the use of timber-panel construction with triple-glazed windows and careful airtightness detailing, supported by mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MHVR) and heating via electric air source heat pumps (ASHPs). An on-site photovoltaic microgrid is under consideration to meet residual energy demand on-site. Low embodied carbon is considered throughout the construction from the reduced concrete use foundations and timber frame structure to the timber cladding and reclaimed tiles and slates to the facades. CoHUT members intend to use a large proportion of the landscape to produce their own food and otherwise plant and furnish the site to encourage biodiversity. The boundaries of the site were increased in discussions with the council and through workshops with CoHUT in order for them to have stewardship of the wider landscape and create wildlife corridors and further enhance biodiversity. Socially, the use of a co-operative Mutual Homeownership Scheme (MHOS) means residents will be collectively responsible for paying off the scheme mortgage and means that the rent they pay will be able to be linked to incomes rather than property prices and will build up equity in the community. The aim is to ensure that no-one has to pay more than 37.5% of their household income in housing costs.