£17m plans to convert hospital to 440 homes

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A £17MILLION student accommodation proposal in Durham hopes to create 177 full-time jobs and 440 student homes.

The project plans to convert a former hospital into housing for mainly post-graduates at Durham University.

A formal planning application has been lodged with Durham County Council, which will go before a committee in the next few months.

The former County Hospital, which previously worked alongside the Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust, would be converted into 47 studios – while a new block would add a further 26.

The main part of the development would be a seven-level building including 367 bedrooms and a student hub. The project is backed by Peveril Securities, Sladen Estates and Helios Properties, and would take 18 months to complete.

In a supporting planning statement, London-based agent Savills, said: “The scheme would tackle a shortfall in student accommodation identified by Durham University.”

Environmentalists have urged the council to ensure the nature reserve in the area is unaffected, as the site is within the Durham conservation area.

Project advisor Signet Planning said it was “very mindful of the heritage and landscape of the site.”