Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Ho's Vision Is a Living, Breathing Thing

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Ho's Vision Is a Living, Breathing Thing

Article excerpt

Byline: By Karen Overbury

Property developer Ho Sanderson is obviously not short of a few quid. And it's clear that his latest scheme ( to renovate a neglected Georgian mansion in Northumberland ( is proving to be a nice little earner.

After all, he's a businessman. He and partner Edward Aitchison redeveloped the village of Eshott in north Northumberland and are now realising their plans for Hartford Hall, near Morpeth. The main hall is being refurbished, new homes being built and the grounds being refurbished ( all under the watchful eye of English Heritage.

And although, as I said, Ho's going to make a bob or two here, his genuine concern for the scheme is impressive.

A current concern is lighting and he has been speaking to a variety of companies to ensure that lighting around homes on the 55-acre estate will be just right.

"We want the right mix of safety and empathy. The lights must be subtle ( people must still be able to look at the stars," he says.

Ho involves himself in every aspect of the development and the 69 homes being created and is delighted that he has achieved a good mixture of buyers. "Lots of local people are buying," he says. "We've heard stories of people who knew the hall years ago and are thrilled it's getting a new lease of life. It's important we have a mixed community and that's what we've achieved, with buyers including singles, young families and retired."

Hartford Hall, built in 1807, has been unoccupied since 1995. Ho is anxious that it lives and breathes again ( and is not at risk in another 50 years.

"It's important that the restoration is sustainable. The hall and parkland must be looked after for future generations."

Buyers become members of the Hartford Foundation, paying an annual charge to ensure the upkeep of the estate, including unusual features such as a stone-built dovecote, the woodland and the flora and fauna. "People are buying into a lifestyle," he says. "This gives them a chance to have a major impact on their surroundings."

Ho and team are working with agencies including English Heritage and Northumberland Wildlife Trust to ensure that as little harm as possible is done to wildlife in the area. …

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