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Plans for Manor House Restoration Submitted

Plans for Manor House Restoration Submitted

New plans have been submitted to support a project to bring a grade I-listed South Yorkshire manor house back into use. Wentworth Woodhouse, near Rotherham, was the seat of the Wentworth family from the 13th century. The manor house was built between 1725 and 1735, incorporating earlier elements dating back to about 1630.

King George V and Queen Mary stayed at the house for four days during a visit to the region in 1912, and it was used as a training depot and headquarters of the Intelligence Corps during WWII. It was then used as a private residence until it was sold by the Newbold family to the Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust in 2016. In 2018, the trust set out its masterplan to restore the estate and bring it back into use.

A new application has now been submitted by the trust to Rotherham Metropolitan Borough for the next step in the project. The new application seeks to regularise the opening of the buildings and garden to the public and for various events. These uses have been taking place at the estate without planning consent in order to provide sustainable income for the Trust.

Approval would cover the change of use of the estate from a private residence to allow guided and non-guided tours, garden visits, weddings, events, education workshops, ancillary café within the mansion house and location filming.

The plans also include the change of use of the Camellia House to a café and event space with associated facilities, as well as the demolition of Lady Mabel College teaching accommodation and provision of a new car park to the north west of the stable block.

A planning statement accompanying the application said: “The proposed change of use of the Camellia House in the wider proposals including the demolition of the 1970s Teaching Accommodation and the provision of a main visitor car park and further changes of use across the site focused on bringing the Estate into public use, will have an exceptional impact on local character and distinctiveness, allowing people to experience and engage with one of the foremost historic country estates in England in a manner previously unknown.

“The proposals will lead to major and wholly positive benefits which would substantially outweigh any perceived ‘less than substantial harm’.”

The application has been supported by Acer Town Planning and Donald Install Associates. The government previously awarded a £7.6m grant toward urgent repairs in 2016, with funding also received from the National Trust, Heritage Lottery Fund and the Architectural Heritage Fund.

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BDC 317 : Jun 2024