High Melton College: Developer reveals plans for over 100 homes and leisure village in grounds of 18th-century house near Doncaster
Newsholme Developments have begun discussions with Doncaster Council planners over a scheme to build over 100 homes plus leisure and retail facilities at High Melton Hall, near Sprotbrough.
The house and grounds were owned by Doncaster College and used for teacher training and then general education until the campus closed in 2017.
High Melton was a manor from Norman times, but in the 18th century the parkland was landscaped by the wealthy Fountayne family, whose descendants lived there until the 1920s, when they sold most of the estate. It was occupied by the army and used as a prisoner of war camp during World War Two and in 1948 it was purchased by the corporation and became a college.
The development site, Melton Park, is part of the High Melton Conservation Area and home to several listed buildings and even the remains of a medieval village. Both the hall and St James’s Church are Grade II-listed and the icehouse, medieval settlement of Wildthorpe, stables and other structures in the grounds have legal protection.
The planning documents detail how emergency preservation works have had to be implemented in the parkland due to a ‘heritage deficit’ and various developments associated with the college, including a disused golf course, have contributed to its deterioration.
The outline proposal is for the hall to be converted into 14 homes with a further 108 properties built in the grounds – some of which would be classed as ‘off-grid’ - along with a ‘retail gateway’, business units, sports hub, artisan craft units, ‘woodland education’ and village centre. The stable block would remain as a restaurant – its previous use until the college, which ran it, vacated the building in 2017.
The developers described the repurposing of the hall as ‘sensitive and proportionate’ and a means to conserve the historic features of the site in the long term. No development is planned near the Scheduled Monuments of Wildthorpe or the icehouse.
The estate was actually earmarked for housing in the 1920s, when a building contractor bought some of the land, but only a few properties were ever built before war broke out.