Luxury pod living could be coming to Darlington as part of innovative proposals to transform a soon-to-be vacant office building.

The proposal would create the town’s first high-end co-living scheme, already popular in many UK cities.

The alternative housing solution is designed to provide luxury living at a more affordable price for those who don’t mind sharing community spaces.

Applicants Ben Quaintrell and Olly Lawson, who both have extensive experience in the property industry, are seeking change of use permission for the Victoria Road building.

Their proposals would see the creation of a series of living pods, each of which would contain a lounge-diner, kitchen, dedicated workspace, and toilet.

Four bedrooms and a bathroom would be situated on the ground floor, three bedrooms, a kitchen, and bathroom on the first, and a further three bedrooms on the second floor. Seven bedrooms will have en-suite facilities.

The applicants are currently exploring an opportunity to install renewable energy heating systems.

Ben Quaintrell, who is founder and managing director of Darlington-based estate agent My Property Box, said: “We want to provide an opportunity for more people to enjoy a more stylish way of living.

“The pods and living spaces will be finished to an extremely high standard and provide a space for home working, something that is extremely important in the post pandemic world.

“This development offers people easy access to a range of amenities and public transport and we hope this will contribute to making Darlington town centre a more vibrant place in which to live and work.”

Olly Lawson added: “Shared spaces mean a more affordable rent – in return for living areas finished to exceptionally high specifications.

“Pod living is already popular among both blue and white-collar workers in many city locations, and we want to meet the demand for co-living here in Darlington.”

The application, for 37 to 39 Victoria Road, also includes the construction of two three storey extensions to the rear, the insertion of dormer windows, and a reconfiguration of the front entrance to return it closer to its original look.

It would also provide parking spaces for five cars and secure storage for 20 cycles.