Major repairs costing more than £7million will be carried out at St Osyth Priory after an agreement was reached today between the owners and Tendring District Council.
A planning inquiry in front of a Government Inspector at Weeley was halted after a number of issues were resolved between the two sides.
TDC agreed to grant conditional planning permission for development in and around the historic parkland.
In return the Sargeant family, which owns the priory and its grounds, will enter into a legal agreement that will commit £7.4 million towards the repair and reuse of the main buildings within a set period.
The Sargeants withdrew their appeal and brought an early end to the inquiry which got underway on Tuesday and was expected to last three weeks.
The appeal was brought against the Council’s failure to grant planning permission for development and two sets of applications were under consideration.
Some dated from 2011 and had been heard at a planning inquiry in 2014. The decision from that inquiry was subsequently quashed.
The other applications were submitted earlier this year and put forward plans for 72 homes in West Field and a further 17 within the historic parkland.
Neil Stock, Leader of Tendring District Council, said that the agreement was very welcome.
“The appeal could have gone against the Council which would have meant the development of homes could have taken place without all the Priory’s main structures being repaired,” he said.
“That would have been the worst possible scenario and what we have achieved is a very positive outcome. It will secure the future of this valuable historic asset which could be a major attraction for both residents of Tendring and those visiting the District.
“It signifies the beginning of a new chapter for the Priory and a real opportunity for the landowners and the community to work together to make this a success story.”
The agreement achieved is in line with the wishes of TDC’s Planning Committee which discussed the applications last month.
Cllr Stock added that both parties have been working to resolve the outstanding matters in dispute and he was pleased that had been achieved in the interests of all.
“The Sargeants have today confirmed their willingness to meet the planning committee’s resolution and withdraw the appeals and so it has been possible for the Council to grant conditional planning permission,” he said.
Some of the money will be given to a charitable trust to manage the repair and reuse of buildings for public access to the historic site. Both St Osyth Parish Council and TDC representatives will take part in that process.