The next phase of a huge development plan in Durham is about to get underway at a site that has been an ancestral home for more than 1,000 years.

A professional partnership between Durham City law firm, Swinburne Maddison and the Theakston Estate Company will be leading again as two new development sites are to be released at Lambton Park.

The land was originally made available for development when Theakston took up the first option agreement for a 111- hectare site in 2011 as the 'promoter' of the Lambton Park site.

Extending to some 600 hectares, Lambton Estate is situated near Bournmoor, Chester-le-Street.  It has been the ancestral seat of the Earl of Durham for ten centuries. The overall project was granted planning permission by Durham County Council for new homes, offices, retail and community space in 2016.

The Northern Echo: Simon Robinson and Sam Marlow at Lambton ParkSimon Robinson and Sam Marlow at Lambton Park (Image: Miller Homes)

The Lambton Park housing was originally designed by the architect behind the Poundbury Estate in Dorset, which is owned by the Duchy of Cornwall.

As well as restoring the heritage assets, the revenue streams from the development will be used to open up around 13km of previously private parkland pathways.

Miller Homes was the residential development partner to be awarded the first site, which saw 106 luxury homes built and is now nearing completion. Bellway plc was the next developer to secure a site in February 2023, which is being marketed under the name of Hedworths Green and includes a mix of two-bedroom apartments, three, four and five-bedroom homes.

The third development site, Lionfields, was awarded to Robertson Homes after a competitive tender, at the end of 2023. This will see the construction of 57 four, five and six-bedroom prestige homes.

Now, two more sites are due to be released, once planning approval is determined -  a site for 30 self-build plots adjacent to the Lionfields development and a mixed use scheme, Bowes Gate, which features 35,000 sq ft of commercial space and will act as the community hub.

  • If you want more business content and insight - backed by our commitment to help the North East grow - sign up for £4 for 4 months, right through the General Election and beyond . Just CLICK HERE

Working alongside the Trustees of Lambton Estate, commercial property partner at Swinburne Maddison, Simon Robinson, has played a key role in the site's success.

Simon said: "Each new site takes around nine months of legal work to reach contract completion. I am also working closely with the Trustees of Lambton Estate’s solicitors, Withers Worldwide LLP in London, and GSC Grays, the managing agent acting on behalf of Lambton Estate. 

Director of Theakston, Sam Marlow, added: “At all stages of the project Simon has provided commercially clear advice and a robust contractual framework within which the development is being delivered. His work on the negotiation of the infrastructure agreements ensures the infrastructure investment we make is adopted by the statutory authority as expeditiously as possible.

“It continues to be a busy and exciting time at Lambton Park and we are delighted to see the site really beginning to take shape now. Once we get planning consent for our current submissions, we will begin work on the next development opportunities.”