Plans to turn historic pump house into apartments

The former Dalton Pumping Station, Cold Hesledon.
The former Dalton Pumping Station, Cold Hesledon.
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PROPOSALS to transform a pump house into homes could become a reality, 20 years after it was bought for redevelopment.

Dalton Pumping Station in Cold Hesledon could be turned into six homes, with a further two houses and four apartments to be built on the site if the plans are given the green light next week.

Planning officers recommend members approve the application by Brian Nicholson, who bought the site from Sunderland and South Shields Water Company in 1994.

As part of the project, Mr Nicholson has pledged to contribute towards the repair and maintenance of the pump house and its gear, with plans to hand it over to a charitable trust and open it to visitors and to secure its future.

Built in 1873 in a Venetian Gothic style, it was one of five designed by Thomas Hawksley, with two already converted into homes. While much of it is now empty, it still holds the steam Cornish engines which were used to pump water from a well 400ft below the surface.

The report details how it will be at risk if it is left to vandals, thieves and weather.

Planning officer Barry Gavillet tells Durham County Council’s Area Planning Committee Central and East: “It is considered the redevelopment will restore and preserve the historic fabric of the existing building” and he adds that the simple contemporary design will complement and minimise the likelihood of significant harm to the site.

Mr Nicholson told the Echo he had worked closely with the council on the plans.

The committee will meet at 2pm on Tuesday at County Hall, Durham.