Design Information

The scheme comprises 36 one- and two-bedroom apartments on land between High Church Wynd, The Olde Market and to the rear of properties fronting Yarm High Street.

The design is derived from analysis of Yarm centre in terms of massing, scale, detail and spatial arrangements.

Entering the site from the Olde Market a formal square is framed by two- and three-storey buildings with architectural elements derived from the High Street. From this square an arched opening leads east into a new ‘Wynd’ following the grain of development. The architecture becomes less formal and the eaves of the three-storey building sweep to a low eaves level at the arch position, reflecting the rear of the existing properties fronting High Street.

A further arched opening leads to a small informal square linking Danby Wynd.

The site features 108% parking. The South Building, with its undercroft parking adjacent to the new square, extends the development to a vehicular archway and into a further Wynd leading onto High Church Wynd. Here the development is nearer the existing viaduct and the architecture is more industrial.

The original Police House which sat at the north east corner of the site was replaced with a new building which retains the memory of the demolished structure in terms of form and architectonic elements and has an archway giving access to High Church Wynd.

The buildings have been carefully designed to echo the architectural character of Yarm centre, retaining the spatial characteristics of the wynds, while maintaining the privacy and reasonable space standards both within the site and with neighbouring properties.

The site has many physical constraints, not least being within the Yarm flood plain and the threat of flooding. During design development, there were extensive negotiations with the Environment Agency to incorporate flood defence measures into the overall site layout and the detailed design of individual apartments.

The site posed numerous design challenges due to its physical tightness and the proximity of existing neighbouring properties. The majority of apartments have been designed with principal accommodation facing in to the site to respect the privacy of the surrounding properties. Within the newly formed wynd of the East Court, the use of corner glazing to living accommodation and bedrooms has been utilised to counter issues of overlooking.

Prior to a planning submission being lodged, considerable discussion took place between the client, the architect, the planning authority, conservation officer and local councillors in an effort to establish a scheme which would be architecturally sympathetic to the historic fabric of Yarm, yet still meet the commercial expectations of the client.

The brief that ultimately evolved from these discussions aimed to create a development of one- and two-bed apartments, within a traditional form of architecture, utilising form and mass through high density to maximise the potential of the site.

The use of quality materials was to be evident, both externally and internally, reflecting the client’s desire to create exceptional contemporary accommodation, sensitive to its historic setting.

The final scheme was procured under a design and build contract, with the budget constraints being appropriate to the desire to incorporate quality materials throughout.

Development Access

All apartments have been designed to provide access for all, with individual apartments having level entry thresholds, and all bathrooms being compliant with Part M of the building regulations.

All communal lobbies and stairways have also been designed to be suitable for ambulant disabled occupants and visitors, and are compliant with the current building regulations.

The use of archways within the site allows pedestrians access to the nearby High Church Wynd, and Danby Wynd to rear of the High Street. The pedestrian route through to Danby Wynd has the benefit of an electronic gated entry system, providing additional security to the occupants of the development.

Project Sustainability

The location of the site, within the very heart of Yarm, provides the development with extremely good transport links - not only for car owners. Pedestrian movement throughout the site is actively encouraged and proximity to the nearby High Street, with local bus routes and public transport close by, means that pedestrian occupants and visitors are well catered for. Likewise, the inclusion of secure cycle stores across the site actively encourages the use of alternative modes of transport.

Prior to development, the site had been effectively land-locked and had remained redundant and derelict for many years. The client’s decision to build in this location, making effective use of a brown field site, is fully in line with current central government guidance within PPS 1 on the sustainable utilisation of sites within towns and cities.


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