Banks' John Ruddick ewlcomes Torsion's Ward and senior land manager James Baker. Credit: via Footprint

Torsion on board for Mount Oswald care home

Banks Group has signed an agreement with the operator to provide a facility as part of the redevelopment of the major Durham city site.

Located on The Drive, the care home will comprise 74 ensuite bedrooms within a three and a half-storey development.

A planning application for the project has now been submitted to Durham County Council, with a view to getting before committee this year and making a start on site in early 2024.

Headquartered in Leeds, Torsion Care sits within a wider group of companies within Torsion Group, which develops, constructs and operates large accommodation-based schemes, including care homes, retirement living apartments and residential properties.

Ian Ward, development director at Torsion Care, says: “This is a site that we’ve been working on with Banks for some time and we’re extremely pleased to have reached this agreement.

“Mount Oswald provides a high quality, well-presented location with excellent transport links, and fits in perfectly with our growing portfolio of care facilities in Yorkshire and the Midlands.

“Our business model works around clusters of different properties operating together across specific geographical locations, and with a number of other regional locations already under consideration, it’s a formula that we’re looking to repeat here, with the Mount Oswald care home sitting at the centre of our North East operations.”

The Banks Group has been progressing comprehensive development proposals for Mount Oswald since outline plans were first approved by Durham County Council a decade ago.

The area now includes around 290 completed properties that have been built by David Wilson Homes and Bellway Homes.

Earlier this year, the Banks Group announced plans for a high end residential development at the Mount Oswald site, with nine luxury homes to be delivered by its own new regional housing arm Banks Homes.

Further information on other developing aspects of the site, including plans for a convenience store and a coffee shop, are set to be revealed in the coming months.

Durham County Council is continuing to progress plans to convert the Manor House into The Story history centre and the new Durham University colleges at Mount Oswald have been occupied since September 2020.

Banks has also advanced plans for a major student accommodation project close to the site.

John Ruddick, senior property development manager at Banks Property, said: “Mount Oswald is continuing to develop into the kind of outstanding, high quality, low density, accessible neighbourhood that we described at the very beginning of the project, and we’re very pleased that Torsion has chosen it as its first North East investment location.

“Their vision and aspirations for the site match our own and we look forward to seeing their project progressing in the coming months.

“As a long-established Durham-based family business, we are proud to have been able to deliver on the vision for Mount Oswald that we outlined more than a decade ago, and will continue to keep local communities informed of future developments at the site as they come forward.”

More than £4m will have been allocated by Banks to pay for substantial improvements for the local community by the time of the overall development’s completion.

These include improvements to local highways, contributions to the construction of a new community building at Lowes Barns and the provision of additional classrooms at two local schools, St Oswald’s C of E and Durham St Margaret’s Primary.

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