Carliol House on Pilgrim street threatened with partial demolition for new Newcastle HMRC site

Back in November 2021, HMRC’s plans to move 9,000 workers into Pilgrim’s Quarter were announced. This site encompasses the set to be demolished Stack, which closed last week, and Grade II listed Art Deco building Carliol House. The government agreed a 25 year lease on the site, with an estimated completion and move-in of 2027.  […]

Maud Webster
18th May 2022
Credit: Maud Webster

Back in November 2021, HMRC’s plans to move 9,000 workers into Pilgrim’s Quarter were announced. This site encompasses the set to be demolished Stack, which closed last week, and Grade II listed Art Deco building Carliol House. The government agreed a 25 year lease on the site, with an estimated completion and move-in of 2027. 

Image
Carliol House currently | Dan Jackson @northumbriana via Twitter

Local heritage group Northumberland and Newcastle Society warn against these proposals, which are currently seeking planning permission. Chair of the Northumberland and Newcastle Society's Tyneside committee, Tim Wickens, asserts that "this isn't good enough”. He comments:

“The finest architects in post-First World War Britain - including Sir John James Burnet - designed Carliol House to be a monument to a brave new world and a symbol of a city determined to be at the vanguard."

The planning committee notes that Carliol House, opened in the 1920s, is a “designated heritage asset”

These applications seek consent for the partial demolition and alterations to the listed Carliol House, in addition to the erection of a substantial new building to its rear.

Artist's impression of the building
Proposed site | Credit: Avison Young

Many heritage bodies, including Historic England, Historic Buildings and Places and Twentieth Century Society, have expressed a number of concerns with the proposals.They all note the building as a prime example of intra-war architecture and doubt the proposal’s abilities to concern the authenticity of Carliol House. 

Historic Buildings and Places argue that “the application is contrary to national and local policies and should be refused on heritage grounds”. They object “to what equates to the almost complete loss of the grade II listed Carliol House, which would harm the significance of this heritage asset and erode the important contribution this building made to development of Newcastle.”

Historic England, whilst welcoming the principle of re-using the building, believe the proposals’ intentions to remove the internal footprint of the building will “affect the authenticity of the building” and find the loss of original windows “unfortunate”.

The planning committee also acknowledge the potential economic benefits of the new HMRC site, and the benefits of retaining at least the exterior of the building,

The planning committee at the end of April concludes by recommending planning permission for the project subject to a number of conditions and grant listed building consent. This means the proposals are subject to the approval of the secretary of state and various additional agreements to ensure the proposals remain sensitive to various city considerations.

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AUTHOR: Maud Webster
she/they | third year architecture & urban planning student @ newcastle | co-head of culture for the 21/22 academic year

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