Redevelopment of The Hawthorns, Keele Village, Newcastle-under-Lyme:
The Hawthorns site in Keele Village comprises the landscaped grounds of a late 18th Century farmhouse, a mid-19th century estate house and a series of low blocks accommodation and facilities built from 1953 onwards for the students Keele University. None of the buildings are listed but the historic buildings are within Keele Village Conservation Area and most of the trees are protected by a Tree Preservation Order. A proposal to refurbish the historic buildings, demolish the student accommodation, build 89 new houses and fell many of the mature trees was recommended for approval by the officers of Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council in December 2013 but was refused by the Planning Committee on heritage, urban design and arboriculture grounds. The applicants submitted an
appeal which was recalled for a decision following a public inquiry. Hinchliffe Heritage was commissioned in July 2014 to defend the heritage reasons for refusal at the public inquiry. The Secretary of State’s decision was to agree with the recommendation of the inspector that the appeal proposal should be dismissed on heritage and arboricultural grounds.