New plans showcase vision for Victorian-style market square in Northumberland village

New images have been revealed showcasing a Northumberland village restaurant’s vision to create a major Victorian-style market square that would accommodate hundreds of people.

By Daniel Holland
Wednesday, 26th January 2022, 8:20 am
How The Orchard would look at Ponteland. Image by Collaborative Design/GW Architectural.
How The Orchard would look at Ponteland. Image by Collaborative Design/GW Architectural.

Ponteland eatery Rialto secured a licence last year to open The Orchard, in a massive outdoor expansion that would include stalls for street food vendors and a collection of other local businesses.

Now the restaurant has lodged a planning application showing what the development would look like.

The market, earmarked for an unused plot of land that currently acts as an overspill car park on Main Road, would have a capacity of 350 people and also contain a florists and an artisan bakery among the collection of stalls, with the complex protected from the weather by a large canvas canopy.

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The planning application lodged with Northumberland County Council states: “The total capacity the Orchard will accommodate 350 people, 276 seated guests on the ground floor and mezzanine level with a remainder of 74 visitors able to peruse the stalls and units.

“Within The Orchard, there is the opportunity to walk around the stalls which will include; a Servery, Florist, Artisan Bakery, Coffee Stall and three street food stands.

“A large canopy will shelter the area protecting the market square from weather as well as providing an acoustic barrier for nearby properties.

”There will be a large screen used for advertising situated above the retail stalls visible for guests on both the ground floor and the mezzanine level. The screen will not have any amplified noise coming directly from it, instead it will come through the PA System.”

Crafted from larch timber cladding, with double height shipping containers at either side of the site, the firm behind the plans says The Orchard will be “used as a social space with a range of facilities”, adding: “The space accommodates for all ages with a family area located through the Archway Garden Entrance. A tree will form a centrepiece for The Orchard with market stalls situated around.”

Rialto’s original plans for the site prompted more than 100 objections ahead of a council licensing hearing last year.

That prompted restaurant bosses to drop their initial request for permission to stage live music and to agree to limit the venue’s capacity to 350.