Boutique Chester hotel greenlit

Council approval has been given for a 48-bedroom conversion and extension project on Foregate Street, bringing about the closure of a Lloyds bank branch.

Although the bank’s branch is still operational, it is due to vacate the site now planning and listed building consent has been granted.

Architect Buttress has designed the scheme and given heritage advice, with planner Chartplan also working with the applicant, named as BNP Paribas Depository Services (Jersey).

The project at 2-8 Foregate Street involves the addition of a four-storey extension block. The main hotel entrance would be though the 2-6 Foregate Street building, with the existing banking hall and two further units fronting that main retail thoroughfare housing revamped retail space.

It is proposed that the buildings to the rear of the site are demolished and replaced with pitched-roof extension blocks sympathetic to the surrounding area.

Chester Hotel New Blocks

How the site rear looks from St Johns Street currently, and how the proposed extension would look. Credit: planning documents

The Chester Walls form the western edge of the site, which includes two listed buildings, in 2-6 Foregate Street, which has a black and white timbered façade typical of Chester, and the Lloyds building. The 2.6 building has a door exiting directly onto the Wall.

Buttress’ plan is to insert three pitched-roof blocks into the rear part of the site. With restaurant space and a glazed link at ground floor, the extension blocks will have three upper floors of accommodation, including rooms in the pitch of the roofs.

Benefits of the project, the architect said, will include bringing a heritage asset back into full use,  repairing the existing street scene, improving the view from the city walls, creating quality external public space, and making positive improvements in the existing listed buildings, such as opening up blocked-up windows.

Historic England raised only a minor concern on heritage grounds, and the Inspector of Ancient Monuments raised no objection.

The approval follows the revealing of plans for another Chester hotel last week, with AXIS-RE and Cervidae proposing a 162-bedroom facility on Frodsham Street.

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