The Proposed Development

Raby Estates are considering submitting 3 full planning applications to Durham County Council for the following developments:

  • The future development and repurposing of buildings at Raby Castle, Park and Gardens.
  • The construction of circa 79 houses at Gainford and the restoration of Gainford Hall.
  • The construction of circa 73 houses on land off Winston Road, Staindrop.

Raby Castle

Raby Castle is a Grade I Listed medieval castle which was built between 1367-1390 by John Nevill, 3rd Baron Nevill de Raby and has been the seat of Lord Barnard and his family since the early 17th century. The Castle is set within 200 acres of deer park and is open to the public.

Raby is hoping to embark upon an ambitious programme of renovation and improvements at the Castle, Park and Gardens. A masterplan has been developed to inform this work, and there is an aspiration to secure a significant increase in visitor numbers, aligned with the Co Durham Tourism Management Plan. Proposals for high quality residential development at Gainford and Staindrop will fund, in part, the proposals for this new leisure and tourism development and the restoration of Gainford Hall.

In addition to the physical improvements to the Estate, the increased accessibility of the park land will contribute towards health and the well-being aspirations of Durham County Council, providing an asset of exceptional quality to the local community.

The early masterplan work has evolved in partnership with Durham County Council, culminating in a vision which builds upon the unique characteristics of Raby Castle and its history as an important heritage asset.

Raby Castle, Park and Gardens indicative images

Gainford Hall

Raby Estates also owns Gainford Hall, a large Grade I listed house, built during the closing years of the reign of Elizabeth I for Rev John Craddock, vicar of Gainford. Its layout, two rooms deep, is considered ‘cutting-edge’ for its day, possibly the earliest such house in the North of England.

Gainford Hall has not seen any major restoration for over 100 years and it is on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register, reflecting its need for significant and extensive repairs before any of its fabric is lost. The building recently came back under the control of Raby Estates and its removal from the at-risk register is a priority for the Estate, Historic England, and officers of Durham County Council.

Residential Developments

Following consultation with Durham County Council, it has been determined that the most appropriate means of raising the necessary capital to facilitate development at Raby Castle and the repair of Gainford Hall is the release of land in the Raby Estate ownership in the villages of Staindrop and Gainford for residential development. This will be achieved through three separate planning applications (linked by legal agreement) which are expected to be submitted to the local planning authority in early 2020.

The residential developments in Gainford and Staindrop will also assist in supporting existing services within both villages and contribute towards meeting the housing requirements of the County.

The design for each scheme is being led by Ben Pentreath, one of the country’s leading architectural practices involved in the design of traditionally inspired new developments. Their work seeks to draw from the best of the past, making places that are human scaled, timeless and long-lasting, and yet robustly designed for modern life.

It is the intention of Raby Estates to deliver the development directly rather than selling off the land to a housing developer thus ensuring that a high-quality development and a long lasting legacy is left for the benefit of the local community. Achieving a design style and concept which is sympathetic to the respective villages is of paramount importance to the Estate, with the intention being that both communities can be proud of these developments for years to come.

Gainford indicative street elevation

Staindrop indicative street elevation

Consultation Events

Preliminary consultations with both the Gainford and Staindrop communities took place earlier this year. Schemes have therefore been worked up to take account of feedback received to date. We would therefore welcome the further input of the local community to help shape our final proposals

Public consultation events will therefore be held as follows:

Staindrop Events

Monday 18th November 2019 and Tuesday 19th November 2019
from 2.30 pm until 7.30 pm at:
Staindrop Masonic Hall,
North Green,
Staindrop DL2 3JP

Gainford Events

Wednesday, 20th November 2019 and Thursday 21st November 2019
from 2.30 pm until 7.30 pm at:
Gainford Village Hall,
6 Main Road,
Gainford DL2 3DY

Representatives of Raby Estates, Lichfields Planning Consultants and Ben Pentreath Architects will be present at the consultation events to discuss the proposals and answer any questions you may have. As part of any planning submission a full suite of technical reports are being prepared which consider a range of matters including highways, hydrology & flood risk, ecology and landscape, amongst others.

Raby Estates would welcome your comments on the draft development proposals.
There are four ways in which you can make your views known.

1. Complete and submit the electronic Feedback Form available below

2. Write to our Planning Consultants: Lichfields, The St Nicholas Building, St Nicholas Street, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1RF

3. Send an email to: rabyconsultation@lichfields.uk leaving your name and address along with your comments

4. Attend the public consultation event at either Staindrop or Gainford on the above dates and fill in one of the comments forms.

Please Note: This community involvement exercise has been commissioned by Raby Estates to involve the public in the planning application process prior to any planning application being submitted. It will not replace the normal consultation exercise undertaken by Durham County Council when dealing with any formal planning application.

Feedback Form

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