Public consultation on Durham’s “lump of hideous concrete”

Posted on by John Cronin

A landmark office building in Durham could be redeveloped as it nears the end of its working life.

Milburngate HouseThe Milburngate House (pictured) office building on a key site in Durham City Centre is set become unoccupied as current tenants the Identity and Passport Service and the Department of National Savings and Investments plan to relocate to other offices in Durham.

The future of the building is to be discussed during a 2-day public consultation later this week. The building was constructed in the 1970s and Durham County Council chiefs believe the interior does not suit modern office operational requirements.

Councillor Neil Foster, cabinet member for regeneration at Durham County Council, said: “There is now an opportunity to take this very significant site to the market to see how it can best be redeveloped and have a positive impact on Durham’s city centre’s regeneration.”

The large office block is generally considered as being unattractive and was once described as “an assertive lump of hideous concrete” by architectural historian Alec Clifton Taylor. Architectural and urban design specialists Taylor Young have been commissioned to produce a framework and design brief for the potential redevelopment of Millburngate House. It has not yet been decided if the building will be completely demolished or converted in to more attractive and economic office space.

Office suites within the building ranging in size from 5,200 sq ft – 28,000 sq ft have previously been marketed at headline rental prices of £9.50 / sq ft.

The 2-day public consultation event is being held in the Lantern Room, at Durham Town Hall; Friday, 2pm – 7pm and Saturday 10am – 2pm.

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