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Changes approved at Harrogate's most famous abandoned home

North Yorkshire Council has approved plans for a new entrance, driveway, parking spaces, a fence and the felling of one tree at Pineheath on Cornwall Road.

Changes approved at Harrogate's most famous abandoned home North Yorkshire Council has approved plans for a new entrance, driveway, parking spaces, a fence and the felling of one tree at Pineheath on Cornwall Road. The distinctive 12-bedroom property sits in one of Harrogate’s most exclusive areas but famously has been empty for more than 30 years. It’s unclear if the plans, submitted by Harrogate businessman Jason Shaw, could signal a fresh start for Pineheath or if they are for residents living in former chauffeur’s cottage that has already been converted into rental properties. Mr Shaw bought Pineheath in 2012 for £2m and four years later won planning permission to convert the cottage into two homes and the main building into 12 apartments. But the apartment conversion never took place and in 2019 he had fresh plans for a larger scheme of 16 apartments refused by Harrogate Borough Council. Pineheath was built in the 1890s during the town’s Victorian heyday and in the 20th century was home to Sir Dhunjibhoy Bomanji and Lady Frainy Bomanji, who were well-known figures in British high society and mixed with royalty. Sir Dhunjibhoy was knighted in 1922 after he used his enormous wealth to support Britain’s fight against Germany in the First World War. After being widowed in 1937, Lady Bomanji threw herself into life in Harrogate founding the Friends of Harrogate International Festivals and was its president in the 1970s. But after she died in the 1980s it was untouched for decades with personal belongings left to gather dust including jewellery, clothing and children’s dolls. Pictures taken inside the home a decade ago were featured in a Daily Mail article that brought Pineheath national attention and described it as “the house that time forgot”. It then became a magnet for urban explorers who came to Harrogate just to try and get a glimpse inside the eerie property, which had been stripped out since the article. The buildings were put on the market last year at a guide price of £3.5m with estate agent FSS describing it as a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” for developers. However, the Yorkshire Post reported that it later failed to sell with FSS forced to reduce its asking price. By Thomas Barrett, Local Democracy Reporter Read more local stories from Your Harrogate here.

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