Harrogate’s grandest mansion Pineheath - the former home of the wealthy Bomanji family - is for sale at £2.5m, less than a year after a North Rigton businessman revealed plans to bring it back to life.
Millionaire Jason Shaw had said he wanted to restore the Cornwall Road property, which made national headlines when its interior was revealed, ‘frozen in time’ last September, to its heyday glory, and keep it in his family.
He later revealed ambitions to convert the 40-room building into 12 luxury apartments.
He said he is ‘disappointed’ to be selling the home nine months after he bought it for an unknown sum.
“Of course it is disappointing, but I think one of the things I always said was that I wanted Pineheath to be as grand, if not grander than it was it its heyday,” he said.
“It has been a very difficult road, there are lots of people that don’t want to see progress.”
Mr Shaw applied for planning permission to build two semi-detached houses in the grounds of the grand house which dates back to the 1890s but the application was refused by Harrogate Council.
In a report chief planner Gary Bell said the houses would, ‘result in a detrimental impact on the character and the appearance of the conservation area.’
The application attracted several letters of objection, with many residents complaining the plans were not in keeping with the Duchy estate.
Mr Shaw said: “An awful lot of people feel strongly about how it should look and stay. Commercially I couldn’t do what I felt I needed to do to restore former grandeur.”
Former chair of the Duchy Residents Association, Dr Rosemary Carnaghan would like to see the building bought by someone with ‘sufficient means’ to restore the property as one large home to live in.
She said: “I realise that the structure of the building is very poor in parts and an engineer would say parts will need to be demolished.
“I would have no objection to that but would want to see the unique observation turret restored or replaced.”
Dr Carnaghan added that she would like to see Mr Shaw fined for cutting down trees in the grounds which were subject to a conservation order.
In January English Heritage announced they would not be listing the property, it was said the quality of the building was not sufficient.
Mr Shaw said the house is close to being sold and he has signed a confidentiality agreement, meaning he could not reveal any details of the possible purchase. The house is listed with Myrings estate agent at £2.5million.