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Urban Design Compendium

Case Study 126 - Working in partnership

1262 - Staiths South Bank, Gateshead

Taylor Wimpey is working to change the way in which they do business. Currently the largest housebuilder in the UK, they recognize the value in collaborating with local authorities, building strong relationships with a defined number of authorities, and building more high- quality schemes, delivered with greater speed through the planning system.

By working collaboratively with local authorities, Taylor Wimpey hopes to avoid a tick box approach to planning which often delivers lowest common denominator results. Local authorities often spend their limited resources opposing schemes and then end up with a mediocre result which doesn’t serve either party. For the developer, there is delay, high cost and a relatively poor project to market.

At Staiths South Bank (SSB), Taylor Wimpey teamed up with Hemingway Design to prove that the major housebuilders could deliver high-quality new neighbourhoods. SSB provides varied house types and a hierarchy of public and semi-private spaces. Residents are encouraged to meet and interact with their neighbours in the UK’s largest new build Home Zone. The scheme provides a dynamic and contemporary new image of housing both within its context to the River Tyne and as a model for the renaissance of Gateshead.

Where developers work in partnership with local authorities, such as at SSB, there is an opportunity to build something outstanding, avoid costly delays and satisfy far more stakeholders. Gateshead Council will have much greater faith in dealing with future phases of the development if the same partnership approach and comittment to quality is upheld. Taylor Wimpey is promoting this approach to development nationally, with an understanding that local authorities will give priority to securing good development with lesser quality schemes falling to the bottom of the pile. Developers who put effort into collaboration and design rather than confrontation will gain a competitive advantage..

Other Information

  • Location: Gateshead
  •  Project Team: Developer: George Wimpey North East Masterplanner: Ian Darby Partnership Northern Architect: Ian Darby Partnership Northern
  • Contact:


UDC2 Section - Delivering Quality and Adding Value 

Working in partnership at Staithes South Bank has led to the creation of an award-winning neighbourhood where the first phase of development was sold within four hours.Images (image bank)