Stanley: Former care home to become a hotel


PROPERTY developers are now planning to turn a former care home into a hotel instead of a residential training facility.

An amended proposal for Stanfield House in Stanley has been submitted to Durham Council and plans for studio flats and single bed apartments have been scrapped.

Last summer, the authority approved plans for a community facility, but now the Newcastle-based property developer behind the Joicey Square scheme is targeting the tourist trade.

All Saints Living said interest in the previous scheme from potential tenants and local businesses was not encouraging.

Consultation with the county council and Visit County Durham, highlighted a shortage of hotel accommodation in the area and the decision was taken to amend the plans.

Hotel 52 will have 25 bedrooms, a licensed restaurant to serve both hotel guests and external trade, a coffee shop and meeting facilities.

Keith McDougall, director with All Saints Living, said: “It is disappointing that the initial scheme proved not to be viable as a lot of work was done to involve the community and provide facilities that would benefit the area.

“However, this new venture is an exciting alternative, which will not only address the need for hotel accommodation but will also create employment opportunities for local people.

“We anticipate 30 people will work on the construction of the hotel and around 15 will be required to run it.”

The former Durham County Council care home closed in 2011 and was sold two years later.

A public consultation event on the new plans held last week was attended by more than 60 people including councillors, residents and traders.

Mr McDougall said: “There were no major objections raised. People responded positively to the provision of a quality licensed restaurant. We are pleased that the new proposals have so much support from local residents.”