NATIONAL planning, design and economics consultancy Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners (NLP) has moved to larger Newcastle premises following a busy year supporting millions of pounds of developments in the North East.
NLP has been based in 3,900sq ft of offices at Generator Studio, near Swan House, for the last 15 years and has now moved to new 5,200 sq ft offices on the third floor of the Grade 2 listed St Nicholas Buildings.
When it opened in the 1990s the Newcastle office was NLP’s only office outside of London, and while the company now has eight offices, the Newcastle office remains NLP’s largest outside the capital – and the largest planning office in the region – with some 40 staff.
During a busy 2016 NLP’s Newcastle office has worked for long-standing client Intu on the new food quarter at Eldon Square and further developments at the MetroCentre.
It brought forward plans for the redevelopment of the Newgate Centre in Newcastle for Irish firm McAleer and Rushe and continues to support the development plans of leading retailers Marks & Spencer and Lidl.
The Gates Shopping Centre in Durham and the new Emergency Care Hospital in Cramlington, were also taken through planning by the Newcastle office.
Jonathan Wallace, Senior Director and Head of the Newcastle office, said: “We are delighted to move to these new premises which will facilitate our continue expansion.
“The office continues to support the North East’s growth and development, working with some of the region’s leading landowners, developers, private companies, retailers and local authorities.
“We will be looking to recruit in the New Year and despite the uncertain times we are seeing continued appetite for growth and development in the North East from our clients.”
Mr Wallace, who has been with NLP for 20 years, is supported by senior directors Michael Hepburn and Newcastle City Council’s former Director of Planning Harvey Emms.
In the housing sector the Newcastle office is active with developments for Lambton Estates, Northumberland Estates, Theakston Estates, Blagdon Estates and Jomast. It has worked on numerous student accommodation schemes and works with housebuilders Barratt, Bellway and Story Homes, amongst others.
Its economics research team continues to be active having recently produced some ground-breaking analysis on inward investment patterns in the region, while the industrial team is bringing forward developments on behalf of UK Land Estates and the Port of Tyne.
Neil Osborne of Lambert Smith Hampton, joint letting agent with Naylors for the landlord, Laidlaw Estates, said: “The letting of this suite to NLP is one of three lettings agreed over the last six months totalling 15,000 sq ft.
“This is a reflection of the quality of space available at The St Nicholas Building which offers Grade A column free space behind a listed façade.
“There is now a real shortage of quality space of a reasonable size in the city centre. We have a floor of 13,660 sq ft which has just become available and anticipate strong interest. Two smaller suites are also available totalling 8,800 sq ft.’’
Mr Wallace continued: “The new office is located centrally in the city, at the heart of a thriving region, and provides a full service package for our wide range of clients.
“Over the coming years we expect to see further significant growth in the housing, retail and industrial sectors and we are well-placed to support that.
“While the sectors we work in are constantly changing our in-depth knowledge of the whole planning landscape can help our clients anticipate developments and support them in achieving their goals.”