No takers - so Bessingham Manor rebuild plans are scaled down

Plans to replace a dilapidated manor house have had to be scaled down after no buyer could be found.

Original plans by specialist developer Norwood Homes - given the go-ahead in August 2010 - aimed to demolish the old Bessingham Manor near Cromer and build a new nine-bedroomed property, using 19th century architect's drawings.

But the plans have had to be scaled down after it proved impossible to find a buyer prepared to take on the project.

Now the plan is to create a smaller seven-bedroomed property with five reception rooms and space above the garaging to create an annex or home office.

The proposed house will be approximately 5,500 sqft less in gross internal floor area, with a less extensive range of outbuildings and secondary space.

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As in the original plans, the new house will be constructed so it is more centrally located, away from its current position in the corner of the 4.5 acre site.

Norwood Homes marketed the original plans for the nine-bedroomed property for 24 months at various guide prices, and for the last 12 months, at �595,000.

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A new design and access statement submitted to North Norfolk District Council by Norwood Homes says: 'Whilst there has been interest in the property, a purchaser has not been forthcoming. The principle reason for this has been the size of the proposed dwelling and the resultant cost of construction.'

The building cost has been placed at around �2m.

The statement also added that Norwood proposed a revised house that still had many of the architectural detailing from the original house, principally the Dutch gables facing south.

But it was 'more straightforward to build and is an appropriate size for both the ongoing market condition and the land in which it sits.'

Tim Schofield, director of the company said: 'We had plenty of people interested in building a new manor house, but time and time again they found the cost of building that manor house far outweighs the value of the end property.'

He said the new property would roughly be about half the size of the one in the original plans - and that there were a number of interested parties keen to take on the project if it was smaller.

There has been a manor house at Bessingham since the late 18th century when John Spurrell, from a Norfolk farming family, bought the land at Bessingham from the Anson family.

The current manor house was built between 1868 and 1870.

To the west of the exiting plot, it is possible to see the foundations of the original house, which fell into disrepair and burnt to the ground shortly after the new manor was built.

In recent years the current building, which has been classed as structurally unsafe, has been taken over by choking creepers, rot and a large tree growing through the roof.

There have also been break-ins and architectural antiques from inside the house have been stolen.

The latest plans for the house are currently under consultation.

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