A HOTEL owner wants to convert a former pub and restaurant in the grounds of an historic country estate into a house.

Businessman Alan Lax bought Whitworth Hall Hotel, on the outskirts of Spennymoor, County Durham, in 2006 along with the nearby pub and restaurant.

The pub, most recently known as the Lakeside Inn, closed in 2011 and has stood empty ever since.

Loading article content

Mr Lax has applied to Durham County Council for planning permission to change the property into a four bedroom house with garden.

The proposal includes demolition of a play barn at the rear of the property. Access would be via the existing route to the park.

Conservation area consent is also required to as the building stands in the grounds of Whitworth Hall Country Park, ancestral home of Bobby Shafto.

Public consultation ends on January 25.