An award-winning architect is hoping for a green light from planners to turn pioneering designs into a dream family home close to historic Undercliff House.
Craig Fitzakerly is also aiming to restore the land in front of the Grade II-listed building in Cleadon to its former glory.
As part of his plans, he also hopes to build a one-storey family home into a hillside, so preserving the view of Undercliff.
Mr Fitzakerly said: “The whole site has been neglected for the past 30 to 40 years.
“A developer who had bought the land asked me for designs for a number of properties to be built on it but realised his proposals would probably not gain planning permission, so I offered to buy it from him.
“What I’m hoping for is planning permission for this home on the land for me and my family.”
“This is a bespoke, one off project which will be unique to South Tyneside.”Craig Fitzakerly
He added: “I also hope to create a wildlife habitat and a place where schoolchildren and groups can come to learn more about the environment.”
The land was bought by Mr Fitzakerly, who owns Fitz Architects, two years ago and since then he has had a number of surveys and experts carrying out research on the site to see how wildlife can be boosted in the future.
Historic images of the grounds have also been included in the plans.
Mr Fitzakerly added: “This is a bespoke, one-off, project which will be unique to South Tyneside.
“I will also be looking at replacing the timber fencing along the driveway with native hedgerow.
“The whole development is aimed at improving the site for the wildlife as well as creating a home for my family.
“It’s a project I am very passionate about and we have gained a lot of support for what we have planned, from the three ward councillors, Cleadon Village History Society, Cleadon Residents Association, Cleadon in Bloom and from Sir David Chapman, whose family were the second owners of Undercliff from 1925.
“We will find out in time whether planning permission will be granted.
“But, if it isn’t, then we won’t have any use for the land and we would have to sell it on – and the next people who come along may not be as mindful about the conservation or historical aspects of the land as we are.”