PROPOSALS have been submitted to secure the future of a 17,000sq ft 16th century mansion by transforming it to welcome visitors.

Heritage Property has applied to the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority to convert the grade-II list Marske Hall, in Marske, near Richmond, from ten apartments to 20 holiday lets.

The developers said its scheme to also convert and extend the historic property’s kennels to create a café, use a garden building as an electricity sub-station and convert the sawmill into an events venue would “bring about an enhancement in the heritage significance and appearance” of the buildings.

The proposals, which have received support from Welcome to Yorkshire, aim to attract more walkers and cyclists to the area.

Developers’ documents submitted to park authority state: “The hall will be the base and start point for walks and Nature Tourism ‘adventures’ for families, individuals and groups. The café will remain open during the day and could incorporate displays and information of themed interest to reflect past and present use of our special site.

“This will operate in some respects to develop and reflect the increased importance and interest in wildlife surrounding the site.The existing footpaths linking the buildings will allow visitors to spread out, creating a feeling of space.”