Background Reading

 Derbyshire County Council has commissioned two important studies in recent years regarding Elvaston Castle and Country Park. Both reports were generously part financed by English Heritage.

A) The Essential Repairs report

The 400-page report provides a detailed breakdown of all £6.5 million essential repairs to restore the castle, its buildings and structures.

The executive summary is available to download however we cannot attach the full document due to its size.

Download the Essentials Repairs report (approx 3MB)



B) Future Options report

This report considers potential future uses for the various buildings present at Elvaston Country Park, including the castle as well as the wider Country Park

Download the Future Options report (approx 26MB)

C) Potential Enabling Development

The ‘essential repairs’ needed to the buildings, gardens and wider landscape at Elvaston Castle and Estate was estimated at  £6.5 million in 2010 (see the ‘Essential Repairs Report’ above). To bring the many currently empty and unused buildings back into active use would also require considerable additional monies to cover the costs of conversion (whatever the use), and to install modern services - the financial challenge in regenerating Elvaston is considerable.

Derbyshire County Council is working hard to explore opportunities to regenerate the buildings and the gardens, and its priorities are to: 

  • Work with others who share its long-term Vision for the Estate, and who could potentially invest in the regeneration of the buildings, and bring them back to life in ways that help deliver the Vision and;
  • Secure public and other funding, for example, from the Heritage Lottery Fund, to meet the scale of the repair costs.

However, there is a chance that once all these and any other options have been exhausted, there will still remain a significant short-fall in monies to regenerate the buildings and bring the nationally important gardens back into ‘good heart’

It is in these circumstances that Derbyshire County Council will consider the option of what is called ‘enabling development’ as a last resort.

"Enabling development is development that would be unacceptable in planning terms but for the fact that it would bring public benefits sufficient to justify it being carried out, and which could not otherwise be achieved. While normally a last resort, it is an established and useful planning tool by which a community may be able to secure the long-term future of a place of heritage significance, and sometimes other public benefits, provided it is satisfied that the balance of public advantage lies in doing so. The public benefits are paid for by the value added to land as a result of the granting of planning permission for its development" (English Heritage, 2012). In addition, the heritage benefits of the proposed development should outweigh the dis-benefits of departing from the development plan or from national planning policies.

Following detailed discussions with English Heritage, the government’s advisors’ on the historic environment, South Derbyshire District Council (the local planning authority for Elvaston), and Derbyshire County Council in 2012, a number of potential enabling development sites were discussed. Follow the link to Figure 3 to view the potential enabling development sites.

 FRAMEYARD (Possible use: residential)     

The Frameyard, Home Farm, the site of the former Thatched Cottage, the site of the former Real Tennis Court and the site of the former Kennels Cottage are not public open space, and all are fenced or gated.








HOME FARM (Possible use: residential)

These sites have differing levels of historic significance, however, they are all, with the exception of Home Farm, within the Grade II* registered Park and Garden. The sites may also be valued for other reasons such as biodiversity and wildlife.







SITE OF THE FORMER THATCHED COTTAGE (Possible use: residential)

Enabling development is not an easy option, and is strictly controlled by planning regulations - any enabling development at any of these sites will need to be robustly justified to secure the conservation of the designated heritage assets, and would not be acceptable if harmful to the significance of such assets. 





SITE OF THE FORMER REAL TENNIS COURT  (Possible use: residential)

Impact on setting and contribution of existing sites, to the special interest of the registered historic garden, Elvaston Castle and other listed buildings, will always be a valid issue and one which will require proper assessment should any of these sites be put forward for development in the future.






Any detailed proposals for enabling development would be subject to the scrutiny and ultimately the approval of South Derbyshire District Council, and the input of English Heritage. You can find detailed guidance on enabling development at

  SITE OF THE FORMER KENNELS COTTAGE (Possible use: residential)



Background Reading