LORD Cowdray’s 44,000 sq ft mansion in Midhurst could be turned into luxury flats.
Cowdray Park House was taken off the market nine months ago, after Lord Cowdray failed to find a buyer for the £25m home.
The Cowdray Estate has since been negotiating with hotel groups about leasing or selling the 19th-century property.
Lord Cowdray said plans have been drawn up to convert the two north wings of Cowdray Park House into seven ‘high end apartments’, each with three to four bedrooms.
Initial plans for the conversion, drawn up by Midhurst-based architect Charles Boher, were submitted for planning approval at the end of last year.
If the South Downs National Park Authority gives the development the go-ahead, the flats will be marketed as 10-year leaseholds, at an annual rent of around £35,000.
The central section of the house will be run as an events management business, hired out for conferences, corporate events and weddings.
Lord Cowdray said: “Any use that does not compromise the integrity of the tenants in the wings is suitable.”
He has not lived at Cowdray Park House since it was put up for sale in September 2010, when he moved to a smaller home in Fernhurst.
The planning application, currently pending consideration by the SDNPA, can be viewed online at www.southdowns.gov.uk under the reference number SDNP/14/00059/PRE.
For more, see this week’s Midhurst and Petworth Observer (out January 23).