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Review of historic parks, gardens and designed landscapes of local interest

Find out how we consulted on the production of a local list of Historic Parks, Gardens and Designed Landscapes and the feedback received.


Some sites are of medieval origins, others surround the later country houses of larger landowners and industrial entrepreneurs. These designed landscapes are also often of nature conservation value because of their age, physical structure, or continuity of management, and contain some of our most notable ancient and veteran trees.

The production of a local list of historic parks, gardens and designed landscapes is useful in considering planning proposals and for helping conserve the county's historic environment. The sites included in this review have all been assessed against selection criteria including historic and landscape interest, and for rarity, representativeness and aesthetic value.

Historic Parks, Gardens and Designed Landscapes that are considered to have met the criteria will be added to the local list. Inclusion on the local list does not provide additional statutory protection against loss or alteration and does not change the requirements for planning permission, or permitted rights.

However, where proposed works require planning permission, the significance of the locally listed site will be a 'material consideration' in determining the application. This means that greater emphasis will be placed on ensuring the proposed development conserves and/or enhances the special interest of that Historic Park, Garden or Designed Landscape.

Sites that are already designated nationally and on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens; National Heritage List for England already enjoy a higher level of protection than local listing, and are therefore not included on the local list.

What we proposed

View the sites on a map, or look at the information as individual PDFs (see below).

What happened next

The consultation took place between 25 January 2019 and 8 March 2019. Landowners and residents of the proposed sites were written to and directed to the online consultation.

What were we told

We reviewed all the feedback:

  • 88 responses were given and we received comments on 35 proposed sites out of a total of 109
  • responses identified one additional site and one site already on the National Heritage List for England
  • 18% of people who replied agreed that the boundary in question was correct and 24% strongly agreed. 6% disagreed and 27% strongly disagreed with the boundary. 25% neither agreed or disagreed, or made no comment.

Next steps

Where additional information or evidence has been provided which may suggest an alternative boundary. The evidence will be reviewed in detail by a garden historian. It will be complete by the end of May 2019 and landowners and/or residents will be contacted and notified of the outcome. This will include the following sites:

  • Auckland Park
  • Biddick
  • Broomshiels Hall
  • Cocken Hall
  • Colepike Hall
  • Coxhoe Hall
  • Finchale Abbey
  • Fir Tree Grange
  • Hamsterley Park
  • Harbour House Park
  • Middleton Park
  • Muggleswick Park
  • Old Park Spennymoor
  • Ruffside Hall
  • South Hill Park
  • Waskerley Park
  • Witton Castle Park
  • Wolsingham Park
  • Lambton Estate

Additional information was submitted for a number of other sites. While it doesn't suggest a boundary change to the one provided, it will be reviewed and added to the site information if appropriate.

Additional sites which have been identified through this process will be reviewed in 2020, along with any new evidence which may lead to a revision of the sites from this consultation. It is worth noting that many of the boundaries are indicative and not definitive and further reviews will take place periodically and when appropriate.

Final ratification will take place in June 2019 and the list and its supporting information will be publicly available at Keys to the Past and

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