County Hospital on North Road, Durham
Ellen Forster

Multi-million pound project faces major backlash from Durham residents and businesses

Plans to convert the former Durham County Hospital into student housing have faced major public objection.

The £17 million renovation project has received objections from over 200 residents on the County Durham council website, as well as from the city’s MP, English Heritage and Durham University.

The plans propose the conversion of the original building into 89 student studios and later extensions would be replaced by new blocks holding 309 student bedrooms. The development is expected to be eight storeys.

Residents of the local area were encouraged to attend a meeting last month to discuss the progress of this development.

Durham MP Roberta Blackman said in a statement: “It is clear from the meeting that a large number of residents are gravely concerned about the future direction of the city, and a number of different issues were raised about both of these proposals and wider planning concerns within Durham.”

Despite the proposed student project, Durham University has denied all involvement with the construction.

A spokesperson said: “The University has not entered into any agreement with the landowners of the County Hospital site, nor with their agents and has not had any contact with the company which it is proposed will manage any student accommodation.”

The council will be holding a debate at County Hall, Durham, on Tuesday 29 July at 2pm.

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