Further details on the redevelopment of a historic parkland and creation of a new housing estate have been revealed.

The Georgian parkland around the Blackwell Grange Hotel, Darlington is due to be transformed by the installation of new trees and footpaths to create a ‘naturalistic’ space.

A council report says the parkland proposals will aim to retain the “openness and green infrastructure functions so their relationship and importance to the character of Darlington is protected and enhanced”.

Darlington Borough Council agreed in 2019 to abandon plans to build homes in the grounds surrounding the grade II-star listed Blackwell Grange Hotel, dubbed “the last of Darlington’s Georgian Pleasure Grounds”, dating back to 1802.

Campaigners had produced a 130,000-word study detailing the importance of the Blackwell parkland. The document also revealed how the parkland had been based on designs by 18th-century landscape architect Capability Brown and still had ridge and furrow features, indicating how it was farmed in the Middle Ages.

The Northern Echo: An initial proposal shows how the parkland could be transformedAn initial proposal shows how the parkland could be transformed (Image: Darlington Council)

In July 2019, the then council leader Cllr Heather Scott said the volume and strength of historical and environmental information put forward by the Parkland Heritage Network had highlighted the importance of protecting the area.

However, one piece of land, the ‘Blands Corner Triangle’, remains earmarked for development after the council agreed to sell the land for housing. Campaigners are also dismayed to see plans to demolish a stone building on the site known locally as the "Victorian carriage shed".

Darlington Borough Council plans to demolish the building as it is deemed not "economically viable".

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Feasibility work and plans for the parkland restoration scheme have now been completed, with a joint venture company planned to carry out the redevelopment.

Funding for the restoration work will be financed by the sale of the land for housing.

The details of the proposal are due to be discussed by cabinet members on Darlington Borough Council on Tuesday, February 7.