Regeneration team secures latest approval for a 14-acre development

The Wolsingham site

A team of Liverpool and Manchester property specialists has secured planning permission for a mixed-use development on the site of a former 14-acre steelworks.

Liverpool-based brownfield land specialist BXB will deliver 151 new homes and 7,500 sq ft of commercial space, in the village of Wolsingham, in the Durham Dales.

The project has been designed by Liverpool architects Brock Carmichael.

Talks are now under way with a UK housebuilder to acquire the housing element of the site.

A private local businessperson is negotiating to acquire the former site offices, an attractive group of stone buildings.

Gary Goodman, of BXB, said: “This is the latest example of us bringing our technical skills to bear on a tricky site to make it suitable for a PLC-grade housebuilder.

“It will be particularly pleasing to see the old works offices refurbished as it’s a lovely building that fits in with the wider village.”

Euan Connolly, of the Manchester office of Nexus Planning who steered the application through the planning system, said: “The public has always been behind the proposals but a range of issues on this complex, brownfield site had to be worked through. We’re pleased with the outcome.”

The steelworks, abandoned in 2008 after 144 years of continuous operation, made top quality steel from high grade Weardale ore for use in the ship building industries on Wearside, as well as for munitions.

The site declined from the mid-80s onwards and finally closed 14 years ago. The buildings on site were demolished in 2008 and the site has since lain derelict and untreated.

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