A MULTI-MILLION pound expansion funded by building executive homes on greenbelt land will make a luxury hotel the Belfry of the North, its director says.

John Adamson, director of Ramside Estates, was speaking after his company applied to build 34 homes near its Ramside Hall Hotel, on the outskirts of Durham City, a scheme designed to partfinance the hotel’s £17m expansion.

In March 2008, the four-star hotel was granted planning permission to build 44 bedrooms, taking the total to 130; nine extra golf holes, taking the total to 36; a 700-capacity banqueting suite; and leisure facilities including a 25-metre swimming pool and spa.

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Ramside Estates is seeking Durham County Council’s approval to build 21 executive homes on the golf course’s 25th and 26th holes and 13 other homes, including fourbedroom houses and two-bedroom cottages, at Hill Top Farm.

Both developments would be reached from new access roads leading from a staggered junction off Pittington Lane.

The plans were made public last spring and have since been subject to consultation with neighbours and Belmont and Pittington parish councils.

Durham County Council is expected to consider the application by April.

Mr Adamson said: “It is our intention to make Ramside Hall Hotel the Belfry of the North.

“I think it will be a great asset to the city and the county of Durham. We will have 36 holes of golf, a very luxurious and affordable leisure centre and spa and a banqueting suite ideal for party nights, exhibitions and conferences.

“This is a family-run firm investing for the long-term.

We have played our part over the last 46 years and I really hope the councillors and planning officers support our exciting new development, because I would like to think we will continue for another 46 years at least.”

The Belfry golf resort, in Warwickshire, has hosted the sport’s Ryder Cup four times.

Ramside Hall Hotel employs 180 staff and its visitors spend an estimated £2.67m a year in the local economy.

The development will create 104 jobs and provide an extra annual economic boost of nearly £9m.

Residents wishing to comment on the planning application should do so before Tuesday, February 1. Visit durham.gov.uk