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Ideas & Observations

Plans submitted for new luxury homes at Durham City’s Mount Oswald development

Plans for one of the key elements of the Mount Oswald development site in Durham City are set to move forward after the submission of a new planning application to Durham City Council.

Local developer The Banks Group is looking to build 12 new luxury homes on around one hectare of land in the central part of the site, with resident access being gained via nearby South Road.

The area had originally been earmarked for self-build properties, but having examined a number of options, Banks’ project team concluded that taking a different approach would lead to better integration of a quality development into the growing Mount Oswald community.

The development, which will be known as St Oswald’s Court, proposes groups of eight and four large properties located on two adjacent areas of land that would be linked by a connecting road, with each property being built to the highest specifications.

If the family-owned firm secures planning permission for the development, it will be looking to build the properties itself in order to ensure work is completed as quickly as possible and to the highest standards.

The planning application is expected to come before Durham County Council’s planning committee by the summer.

If successful, Banks is hoping to begin construction work before the end of the year, with a significant investment being made in the North East economy as part of the project through a range of opportunities for regional sub-contractors.

Work on different aspects of the Mount Oswald scheme, which 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, is continuing, with the remainder of the properties being built by developers David Wilson Homes and Bellway in their different residential parts of the site expected to be complete by the end of the year.

Landscaping and infrastructure work is being carried out around the site’s developing public open spaces, play areas and network of footpaths, while Durham County Council has commenced works to convert the Grade II-listed Mount Oswald Manor House into a new local history hub.

Lucy Hinds of The Banks Group says: “Mount Oswald is continuing to evolve into the type of high-quality development that we’d originally envisaged, and as a long-established Durham-based family firm, we are proud to be driving the evolution of this new community in our home city.

“Having looked at a range of different options for this part of the Mount Oswald site, we concluded that the best way forward would be to take it on ourselves and deliver a small number of high-quality homes for which we know there will be considerable demand.

“This means we can retain full control over the project design, the ways in which operations are planned and carried out, and the specification standards to which the properties are built.

“We will also be able to get the required work completed more quickly than would otherwise be possible, which is something that we know, from the initial positive feedback that we have received from existing Mount Oswald residents would be appreciated

“We have a long track record of investing in the communities in which we’re working by choosing to use local contractors wherever possible and this approach will be central to our plans for St. Oswald’s Court.

“We’re excited at the opportunities that this project presents and hope the members of Durham County Council’s planning committee will recognise it’s many merits when it comes before them later in the year.”

For further information on the overall Mount Oswald development, please visit