Around 500 new jobs will be created as building work starts on the first phase of one of the most prestigious developments in North East England.

The redevelopment of Lambton Park has been designed by Newcastle architects Pod.

The move sees civil and building works underway on the new Eastern Village as part of the initial phase of the redevelopment project, which is at the ancestral seat of the Earls of Durham.

This will involve creating a new southern estate gateway that will set the scene for the future development of the historic site.

This Victorian character area will feature 69 luxury four and five bed terraced properties framing a formal boulevard as part of Pod’s vision to regenerate one of the most significant historical locations in the North of England.

The first properties, which will be ready in late 2019, are part of an ambitious project that will eventually see hundreds of new homes, offices, shops and open spaces created on the 200-acre site, providing funds for investment in the estate’s significant heritage assets and thriving community.

The sale of new homes will help to fund conservation work on a host of listed buildings across Lambton Park, including the restoration of the castle and the iconic Lamb Bridge.

Upwards of 500 jobs are linked to the housebuilding phase of the development, with further positions created as part of the wider regeneration of Lambton Park.

The news that building work has started is the culmination of several years of design, master planning and construction services work by Toffee Factory-based Pod in partnership with client, scheme developers Miller Homes.

Pod director Craig Van Bedaf said the project is a once in a lifetime opportunity to design new housing in an exceptional setting, which will deliver a vision for 21st Century classical living.

He said: “Our ambition for the first phase of housing at Lambton Park is grand and reflects our ability to fashion a sense of time and place from concept through to final delivery.

“Architectural excellence delivered through imaginative and contextual responses, has seen us draw on the plethora of individual features and the architectural language of the existing buildings; interpreting, incorporating and enriching these in our overarching design concept.”

The project also sees the involvement of renowned architect and interior designer, Ben Pentreath, whose input has ensured the design is in keeping with the heritage of the estate.

Craig Van Bedaf added that the long-standing partnership between Pod and Miller Homes will be pivotal in successfully delivering an architectural legacy: “Our partnership with Miller is built on trust, honesty and friendship.

“It’s been critical throughout the design and planning process and will be key to delivering beautiful, distinctive homes, which will be of outstanding architectural quality, adding to the character of those already found elsewhere at Lambton Park.”