UP TO 350 new homes could be created as a result of the redevelopment of a former police training base.

As reported in The Gazette, City and Country Bramshill Limited has made an initial enquiry to Hart District Council about its plans for Bramshill House.

The Home Office bought the Jacobean mansion in 1953, and it had been the home of the College of Policing until March this year.

Home Secretary Theresa May announced the sale of the mansion in 2013, as it was no longer "economically viable".

According to the pre-application enquiry submitted to the district council, the mansion house, a Grade I-listed building, will be converted into apartments.

Many of the more modern buildings on the site would be demolished, to be replaced by "a mixture of new build terraced, mews and detached housing".

Features of the mansion's grounds would be restored under the plan, such as the mansion's maze in the north of the site and the restoration of avenues and tree planting.

There would also be a new green space, incorporating the house's lake, and new walking routes.

The application states: "Bramshill House and Gardens represents a historic and natural environment of national importance.

"The development proposals which are the subject of this pre-application submission are designed to secure the long term protection and enhancement of the natural and built environment for the benefit of current and future generations.

"It is considered that... the site can be demonstrated to be a sustainable, suitable and desirable location for residential development, which can secure long term heritage benefits."

The application states that the planned green area would provide mitigation for the fact the site adjacent to an area protected by European law for its ground-nesting birds, such as the nightjar and the Dartford warbler.

Lord Zouche, a wealthy courtier, built the house by 1612 as a way of demonstrating his power and riches to James I, who visited the estate in 1620.

It was used as a private residence until the Second World War, when it was in service as a maternity hospital.

After the war, the exiled King Michael and Queen Anne of Romania lived there, until the Home Office purchased it in 1953.