We’re shining a light on our Newcastle office this month as its portfolio of exciting development projects continues to grow.

Here, the team’s Executive Director, Sandra Manson, shares why she’s excited about what’s happening in the region, and why the team is growing.

Tell us about the latest development trends across the region.

We’ve seen increased investment confidence and a renewed positivity over recent years, bringing fresh momentum to the development sector. There are plenty of noteworthy projects happening all across the region and, happily, I’m proud to say that Pegasus is advising on a good number of them.

The North East has always had a strong regional identity and as someone who is Newcastle born and bred, I’m hugely proud of what the region has to offer. Newcastle is now the fastest growing tech hub outside of London. We’re seeing plenty of opportunities to deliver new projects with huge benefits.

Can you give us a snapshot summary of what Deeper Devolution is all about and what it means for the future of the region?

Yes, it’s a really exciting time for the North East. Last year seven of the region’s local authorities signed a devolution deal with the government, bringing us into a North East Mayoral Combined Authority (NEMCA).

Now the government has announced a “Deeper Devolution Deal” which will give NEMCA a host of additional decision-making powers and funding opportunities, including for housing and regeneration, affordable housing delivery and transport investment.

Where do you see Pegasus’s role in it all?

One of the key ambitions we had when I set up the Newcastle office five years ago was to tap into our vibrant city centres and the higher education market. Now, it’s fantastic to see this ambition coming to fruition: Pegasus Group is widely seen as one of the leading development consultancies in the region and we’re advising on some brilliant projects.

The Health Innovation Neighbourhood (HIN) project, for Newcastle University and Genr8 Kajima, is a key part of the government’s Deeper Devolution Deal.

In addition, we’re advising on Newcastle University’s plan to replace one of its student accommodation schemes, Castle Leazes with a purpose-built, high spec 2,000-bed student accommodation scheme.

What keeps you busy outside of project work?

I’m chair of Developing Consensus, an organisation that brings together businesses with an interest in development. Our goal is to ensure economic growth and prosperity for the region through effective collaboration between public and private sectors.

I also sit on the North East LEP’s business advisory board which will advise NEMCA on private sector interests and the direction of development and investment across the region.

It’s a fantastic opportunity for the whole team, really, to help shape the region’s growth for the benefit of all communities.

How many of you are there in the Newcastle office?

We are 15 strong currently, after recently recruiting a new director to bolster the Group’s growing transport and infrastructure team.

Along with director Hanna Mawson, I oversee a fantastically dynamic and proactive team with planning and urban design expertise, and now with transportation added to the mix.

We’re known for having a strong city centre presence, with a strong stream of interesting residential and mixed-use schemes, along with a rapidly growing portfolio of infrastructure and energy projects, too.

Give us a flavour of some other recent projects…

We’re advising on some important projects within the education sector, such as the Health Innovation Neighbourhood, as well as some major residential proposals and the whimsical Lilidorei. Here are a few snapshots:

Health Innovation Neighbourhood

The Health Innovation Neighbourhood (HIN) is the second biggest strategic site in Newcastle’s local plan, with funding announced within the Deeper Devolution Deal to support its delivery. We’re advising Newcastle University and Genr8 Kajima on the scheme which will provide intergenerational residential and later living accommodation as well as research facilities, to inform and shape the future of how we choose to care of our ageing population.

Lilidorei, The Alnwick Garden

We secured revisions to the planning permission for the world’s largest play structure, the magical world of Lilidorei at The Alnwick Garden in Northumberland. The village has been designed to encourage children’s imagination, allowing them to uncover the secret sights and sounds of Lilidorei.

Seaham Garden Village

We’re undertaking the planning work for three homebuilders who are progressing the delivery of a new landscape-led Garden Village in Seaham, County Durham. It will provide 1,500 new homes for all ages, with dedicated over 55s homes and extra care living accommodation. In addition, it will deliver a town centre including a primary school, and other uses to support the new settlement.

We varied the original planning permission, including preparing an EIA Addendum, to ensure the scheme is deliverable for Taylor Wimpey, Miller Homes and Karbon Homes.

Tatton Services, Cheshire

We have a growing infrastructure portfolio, which includes roadside facilities, energy and ports proposals.

Following the success of Gloucester Services, Westmorland Limited have instructed us to prepare a planning application for a new motorway services area within the Green Belt in Cheshire East.

The proposal, designed by a nationally renowned architect as part of a multidisciplinary team led by Hanna Mawson, was determined positively by Cheshire East Council’s Strategic Planning Board in October 2023.

Amble, Northumberland

We’re working with Tantallon Homes to secure outline planning permission, and then reserved matters approvals for 480 new homes.

Energy projects

Our work in the energy sector has grown significantly in recent years with multiple instructions from multiple clients including one of the largest promoters and developers of renewable energy in the country. We work on renewable proposals of all scales, including solar farms up to 50MW, and battery energy storage systems (BESS), including EIA and non-EIA schemes across England and Wales.

Join Our Team

I recently became an Executive Director, and am engaged in wider company business growth and strategy, in addition to  promoting our team across the North East, as the best in the business.

We’re looking to bring in another senior person who, along with Director Hanna Mawson, can help direct the planning team, deliver our exciting projects and continue to broaden our client and project base, as part of our continued growth.

We’re also looking to hire an environmental planner to help us service our clients in our ever-expanding Environmental Impact Assessment work.

If you like the sound of us, and could help us grow, get in touch with Sandra for an informal chat to find out more.

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