A HISTORICAL building is set to be turned into luxury flats following its closure as a a gentlemen’s club.

Permission has been granted to convert a Grade II listed building in Old Elvet, Durham, which was the home of the Durham County Club for 126 years.

The club closed last year due to declining usage.

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Durham County Council planning officer Susan Hyde said: “It’s a property full of character and wealth.

“The applicant has worked very carefully with conservation officers to make sure the amount of alterations to the building is minimal and what is indicated is sympathetic.”

The application was made by Peter Bell, of Old Elvet and was approved unanimously by members of the council’s central and east planning committee.

Mr Bell wants to turn the main three-storey building, which is on the corner between Old Elvet and Territorial Lane, into one and two bedroom flats, aimed at young professionals.

The 19th century building was originally built as a house but in 1890 became the home of the Durham County Club, which was formed by leading businessmen and aristocrats of the time, including the Earl of Durham, the Marquis of Londonderry, a knight of the realm, a priest and two MPs.

Historical features of the 19th century building, including skirting boards, cornices, ceiling roses, Victorian vents, and doors will be retained to reflect the fashionable trends of the time.

One of the few surviving Durham produced kitchen ranges will also be retained, while there will be no alterations made to the basement.

A statement by Mr Bell’s agents said: “Durham has a thriving mixed culture and we feel this development will work well to help keep a positive balance in the community.

“Old Elvet in particular is benefitting from a large redevelopment already and our project will help maintain the heritage of the street and protect one of its oldest buildings, ensuring its continued use as a residential property.”