Durham City’s most exclusive residential development is set to become the first project to be delivered by North East employer The Banks Group’s new dedicated regional housebuilding company.
Banks Homes is set to start work later this year on nine luxury homes in the centre of the prestigious Mount Oswald development after Durham County Council’s planning committee gave its backing to the County Durham firm’s plans.
The new development will include four four-bedroom and four five-bedroom houses as well as a super-luxury six-bedroom property, and will be accessed directly from South Road via the 19th century gate houses at the entrance to the Mount Oswald estate, which will also be renovated as part of the project.
Banks Homes has appointed Durham City property firm Urban BASE as sales agent for the site and is expecting to choose a main contractor in the near future.
Substantial contract opportunities will also be made available to regional businesses as part of the Banks Group’s longstanding commitment to using local suppliers on all its projects wherever practicable.
The first of the new properties is expected to be ready for occupation in 2024.
Each one will have its own extensive private garden and will be set in the landscaped grounds and woodlands at the centre of the wider Mount Oswald development.
Russ Hall, managing director at Banks Homes, says: “It felt entirely appropriate for Banks Homes to take on the development of these high-quality new homes as its first project and we’re excited to move forward with building them.
“This part of the Mount Oswald site offers us the opportunity to create some outstanding executive homes in an unrivalled location.”
The Banks Group has been progressing its comprehensive development proposals for Mount Oswald since they were first approved by Durham County Council a decade ago.
It was designed by Banks in support of the County Council’s vision of Durham City acting as a driver of economic growth in the county, and now includes around 290 completed properties that have been built by David Wilson Homes and Bellway Homes.
Further information on other developing aspects of the site, including plans for a convenience store, coffee shop and care home, are set to be revealed in the coming months.
Durham County Council is continuing to progress plans to convert the Manor House into a new history centre and the new Durham University colleges at Mount Oswald have been occupied since September 2020.
More than £4.2million will have been allocated by Banks to pay for substantial improvements for the local community by the time of the overall development’s completion.
These include improvements to both the Howlands Park and Ride service and local highways, contributions to the construction of a new community building at Lowes Barns and the provision of additional classrooms at two local schools, St Oswald’s Church of England and Durham St Margaret’s Primary.
Banks Homes is focusing on sites of all sizes across North East England and Yorkshire, and is looking to acquire sites from other developers as well as identifying its own market opportunities.
It is operating alongside Banks’ existing property development arm, Banks Property, which is continuing to work independently with many of the UK’s best-known housebuilders.
Russ Hall continues: “Banks Homes will build high-quality, sustainable homes across the North East and Yorkshire that will help to address the areas’ pressing need to improve and increase its housing supply.
“We are working to build a strong pipeline of future projects at locations across the North East and Yorkshire, and will be making further project announcements in the near future.
“Mount Oswald is continuing to evolve into the outstanding, high quality, low density, accessible new neighbourhood that we described at the very beginning of the project, and as a long-established Durham-based family business, we are proud to have been able to deliver on the vision that we outlined more than a decade ago.”