Durham’s Grave Encounters

Home sweet home…a former mental health hospital is to be converted into swanky student apartments.

The former County Hospital on North Road is set to undergo major construction in order to provide accommodation for 440 post-grad students.

£17 million is to be spent renovating the hospital into 47 apartments if planning permission is granted. The project should take 18 months to complete and create 177 full-time estimated jobs in the process.

Vintage garden furniture.

The hospital was built in 1853 and held 50 inpatients until its closure and replacement by Lanchester Hospital in 2010.

One security guard said “It’s supposed to be haunted,” but had not heard or seen anything suspicious on duty.

Welcome mat not included.

Savills, a London-based agent, said the scheme would tackle the shortfall in student accommodation whilst simultaneously removing “unsympathetic additions” to the Victorian building. Whether this relates to apparitions or architecture is not clear.

Situated on a conservation site, the council is keen to prevent the nature reserve from being disturbed in the building process. Further consultation will take place in upcoming months.

The new bike shed.

Signet Planning, advisors for the project, said they were “very mindful” of the heritage and landscape of the site.

Developers want to keep it as green as possible with limited parking spaces. Situated close to the railway and bus station, the location provides excellent transport options for students should they require a quick getaway.