Inspiring Business by Sharing Success

Construction students gain first-hand experience of listed building conversion

Construction students gain first-hand experience of listed building conversion

Construction students go behind the scenes to learn more about converting a listed building.

The site tour for undergraduate Building Surveyors and Property Development & Planning Students from Nottingham Trent University was conducted after housebuilder Grace Homes invited students to its Sysonby Lodge development on the outskirts of Melton Mowbray.

The visit was intended to bring to life the ‘enabling development’ process currently being studied by the students. This process secures the future of listed buildings such as Sysonby (formerly known as Plymouth Lodge), by coupling the restoration process with additional new development, making the project financially viable. Steve Bateman, Grace Homes’ Planning and Technical Director, talked through the intricacies of working with a listed building, opening the eyes of many students as to just how difficult it can be to work with such properties.

The students were able to fully explore this former hunting lodge, taking in the different phases of development process, from stripping back to the original structure to the restoration, and, where necessary, the sensitive replacement of key structural elements.

NTU Senior Lecturer Toby Ebbs, also present on the tour, said:

“The students found the experience invaluable, and some mentioned how they had previously had no idea just how difficult it is to work with listed buildings.”

“Grace Homes’ is an exemplary property developer with regards to the care and attention for the listed Sysonby Lodge. The building is fortunate to have a dedicated team who understands the sensitivities of working with historic fabric.”

Standing on hill close to Melton Mowbray, Sysonby Lodge has lived through many incarnations since its construction back in the early 19th century. This former hunting lodge is said to have had a succession of famous tenants including Winston Churchill, The Duke and Duchess of Marlborough, and the banker Mr W J Barclay. Latterly it was used by the Institute of Packaging as offices.

Grace Homes is converting the main house and neighbouring stabling into 10 dwellings, with a further 20 new homes being built in the surrounding parkland. By breathing new life into the lodge this historic building will go on to be enjoyed by many more generations to come.

To find out more visit

< Back