Spire View, our scheme of eight contemporary houses, was proposed as a contextual response to the sensitive site. Despite the delicate nature of the location, the proposals achieved full planning permission and unanimous support from the planning committee members.
A large proportion of the site is designated as a Scheduled Ancient Monument. However, the site had become over-grown, derelict and was subject to several anti-social issues.
The houses sit outward looking embedded into the hillside offering panoramic views in all directions including the city’s iconic new landmark, the Northern Spire Bridge. Plots were planned to give a sense of privacy, whilst maintaining a sense of community. The upper storeys are aligned around the summit like points of the compass.
The Southern and Eastern elevations are closed for privacy, whilst the Northern and Western elevations are open, benefiting from a varying range of views over Sunderland. No plot is the same, with unparalleled views stretching from Seaburn to Penshaw monument.
Each eco-home is powered via air source heat pumps, providing energy efficient methods to heat the dwellings. Air source heat pumps were considered to transfer the heat from the limestone underneath to the inside of the house, together with a mechanical heat-recovery ventilation system (MHRV).This involves the use of a heat exchanger or converter to retain most of the heat, whilst also providing enough fresh air.
The development achieved the Insider Property Award for North East Residential Development of the Year in 2020, with an independent panel of expert judges praising the modern construction methods utilised, stating ‘it is also an exemplar when it comes to sustainable living standards and would stand up against developments locally, regionally and nationally for innovation, design values and quality’.
The scheduled monument is respectfully preserved, and the inhabitants of the hill will ensure its safe keeping for all to enjoy for many years to come.