Dead quiet property to be sold off

The council property in Whitley Bay Cemetery which is to be sold off.
The council property in Whitley Bay Cemetery which is to be sold off.

A UNIQUE former house has been put up for sale with anyone interested in buying it being promised quiet neighbours.

Cabinet members at North Tyneside Council have agreed to sell off six buildings which they no longer use as a way to bring in more cash.

And one of those buildings is the four-bedroom detached house at the entrance to Whitley Bay Cemetery.

The grade-II listed building, which dates back 100 years, comes complete with gardens views out over the North Sea, as well as the graveyard.

The house is now in a bad state, being used in the 1970s by the then cemetery superintendent and his family before becoming offices.

But officials at the council have admitted that the building could also be used for business, such as either a coffee shop and/or flower stall.

Speaking at the cabinet meeting on Monday, Niall Cathie, property strategy manager, said: “We will have to get special compensation to dispose of this building.

“We will test the market, but it could be used as a cafe or flower retailer.

“We’re going to take it forward as best we can and very sensitively.”

He added that if it was left as a house, they would have to examine access for the new owners as he cemetery gates were closed every night.

The property was designed by Newcastle-based architect Edward Cratney and built around the time of the first burial in the cemetery in December 1913.

Whitley Bay-based estate agent Nigel Sawyers said: “It’s a very unusual and interesting proposition.

“Seventy per cent of people might think they’d never want to live in a cemetery but the other 30 per cent would think it’d be nice and quiet with no neighbours overlooking them.

“I think it’s at least 20 to 30 years since anyone actually lived in it and the last time I saw the property, it was looking a bit dishevelled.

“It’d probably need a lot of work doing on it – re-wiring, plumbing and heating. You might have to spend £100,000 on top of what you paid for it and with it being Grade II listed, there’d be restrictions on what you could do.

“But I think the proposition of a business, perhaps selling flowers and coffees, sounds a good idea and perhaps the owners could live in the property as well.

“Either way, it’d be a unique property and I think it could attract a lot of interest.”

Other council properties that cabinet members deemed surplus to requirements and agreed to be put up for sale were land at the junction of Hudson Street and Beacon Street in North Shields; the former Somervyl Court sheltered housing unit in Longbenton; the council’s customer services and housing office in Park Road, Wallsend, which have been relocated to the Forum Shopping Centre; and two vacant shops in Margaret Road and Hudleston, both Cullercoats.