A GRADE II* listed farmhouse gutted by a fire last winter could be renovated if a proposal is approved by council planners.

The blaze last December ripped through the western side of Low Harperley Farm, at Fir Tree, which has been partly derelict since.

The roof and floors of the south-west and west wings were destroyed beyond repair and other parts of the 18th century building including a chimney breast and stone lintel suffered extensive heat damage.

An application to reinstate the damaged areas of the building and bring it back into use has been submitted to Durham County Council for listed building consent.

Applicant John Paul Pulford Allison wants to remove a ground floor wall and rebuild part of the house. The proposal includes a fire escape, sash windows to match the rest of the farmhouse and a Welsh slate roof.

The building, previously known as Harperley Hall Manor, was Grade II* listed in 1967 because substantial remains of the medieval house survived.

Planning documents state that, although some 17th and 18th century fabrics would be removed, the work would not destroy any structural or architectural ‘features of significance' but archaeological findings should be properly recorded.

Consultation runs until October 31 and a decision is expected by December 4.