Bespoke Mount Oswald homes first on the list as Banks Group and Trivselhus Form Development Partnership

October 20, 2017 | Bowesfield News

Pictured above: John Ruddick, senior property development manager at The Banks Group (left) and Trivselhus technical director Paul Armstrong at the Mount Oswald site

A family-owned North East property and energy firm has established an informal partnership with a forward-thinking Swedish sustainable house builder to investigate development opportunities at a range of locations around Northern England.

Durham-headquartered business The Banks Group is working with Trivselhus UK on ways in which the two firms’ collective expertise might be deployed on future residential schemes.

Banks’ landmark Mount Oswald development in Durham City is the first project on which the two firms are working together, with Trivselhus providing outline designs for five bespoke properties in the central part of the site, which their buyers can work with the architect to adapt according to their personal requirements.

The landscaped, third of an acre plots for these homes sit on a private drive in a gated part of the site, close to the Mount Oswald manor house and its two gate houses.

A planning application for the scheme has been submitted to Durham County Council for review, and is expected to go before its planning committee before the end of the year.

Trivselhus is a subsidiary of SÖDRA Forest Industries, Sweden’s largest privately owned forestry cooperative, which prides itself on its ethical approach to managing the environment, and specialises in using craftsmanship and technical know-how to build high quality, energy-efficient Swedish-style homes.

Its UK operation was set up in 1995 in response to growing demand for Scandinavian style, quality and efficiency in homes and commercial buildings. Its Newcastle-based team helped to design and build the award-winning Hexham Gate development on the outskirts of the Northumberland town, as well as various residential developments across the UK and the ‘Future Proof Home’ that was a star attraction at the Ideal Home Show 2015.

The Banks Group has been responsible for a number of landmark developments both within and outside its native North East, including the Sheraton Park scheme in Durham City, and the unique mixed-use Bowesfield Park on the banks of the River Tees in Stockton, which includes a 15-hectare wildlife conservation area alongside residential and commercial properties.

The Mount Oswald scheme was designed by Banks in support of the County Council’s vision of Durham City acting as a driver of economic growth in the county, and will see around 120 people employed on site during its construction phase, with a further 100 jobs across the supply chain

Both formal play spaces and informal open spaces are included in the overall development plan, along with over 3.5 kilometres of new footpaths, new woodland in the central part of the site and a range of animal habitat enhancements.

Mark Dowdall, environment and community director at The Banks Group, says: “It makes sense for us to explore how innovations in the property sector might be applicable to the development work that we do, and Trivselhus’ high quality products present us with a range of interesting options for projects that are already ongoing and others that we have in the pipeline.

“There are very few locations in the North East, or indeed in the whole of the UK, which offer Mount Oswald’s combination of a parkland setting and close access to a vibrant city, and we expect a significant amount of interest in the properties on which we’re working with Trivselhus.

“The ethical and sustainable priorities of the Trivselhus brand match our own ‘development with care’ approach, and we’re look forward to exploring in more detail how we might work together in the future.”

Ken Foster, Managing Director of Trivselhus, adds: “For over 20 years, Swedish customers have benefited from the advantages that the Trivselhus Climate ShieldTM has brought to the design of their homes, and we’re enjoying growing interest in the UK.

“The Mount Oswald site is a perfect setting to showcase the very best that Swedish house design has to offer.

“We are delighted to be working with such a well-established North East company and one that shares our vision of leaving behind something to be proud of.”

For further information on the Mount Oswald scheme, please visit

We expect a significant amount of interest in the properties on which we're working with Trivselhus at Mount Oswald

Pictured above: An artist's impression of a Trivselhus home

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