Plans to renovate historic estate in Park get green light

Tony Gates, Northumberland National Park chief executive.
Tony Gates, Northumberland National Park chief executive.

Northumberland National Park has approved plans to renovate a remote historic estate, giving the group of buildings at Kidlandlee a new lease of life.

The plans include the conversion of a disused stone stable block into a six-bedroom family home with purpose-built office accommodation to house a new holiday-let business and the redevelopment of a stone hemmel, barn and former schoolhouse into five holiday rental properties.

Located high above Alwinton, in the north of the National Park, Kidlandee is an estate steeped in history.

It was built by Christopher Leyland, the former owner of the Haggerston Castle estate, near Berwick.

Surrounding the site, which is more than 4km from the nearest public highway, is the 5,000-acre Kidland Forest, which was planted in 1953.

The estate was once home to a small, self-sufficient community of estate workers and their families who took care of the land and its livestock.

The main lodge was demolished in 1956, leaving just the outbuildings. There are currently two holiday cottages on the site.

The proposals were approved for several reasons, which included benefits to the local economy, an enhancement to the visitor accommodation offer in the area and the positive re-use of existing buildings with historic character.

Tony Gates, chief executive at the Northumberland National Park Authority, said: “This is an exciting proposal to breathe new life into a collection of redundant properties of historic significance in the National Park.

“The plans submitted to redevelop Kidlandlee take into account the rescue, conservation and enhancement of the remaining buildings to retain their traditional character and make a positive contribution to the cultural heritage of the Park.”

He added: “The development will also provide much needed-holiday accommodation and a new family home in a remote area of the Park to help the living and working landscape to thrive.

“In the past year, Northumberland National Park Authority has approved 99 per cent of all planning applications. We are committed to supporting the sustainable growth of rural communities within the National Park, while safeguarding the environment and historic character of the landscape.”