Chester hotel plans move forward for first time since 2007

Work is due to start on a 109-bed hotel on a derelict site in Chester city centre in the coming months, more than 10 years after plans were originally approved.

Planner Lichfields has secured permission on behalf of developer Craigleith for the project, located on Forest Street.

Planning permission was originally granted in 2007, but following demolition of the former Ixos office block on the site, work stalled during the recession in 2008 after the site’s previous developer, Choice Hotels, suffered financial difficulties. The company entered administration in 2009.

The 2007 scheme was designed by Leach Rhodes Walker, while the new iteration has been designed by London-based Axion Architects.

The seven-storey building will be targeted at mid-range hotel operators. The developer said discussions with potential occupiers were “currently underway” with an announcement expected next month.

Work will start on the site following confirmation of the operator, although a main contractor for the scheme is yet to be disclosed.

Brian O’Connor, associate director of Lichfields’ Manchester office, said: “After working closely and constructively with council officers we are pleased to be able to now deliver an acceptable scheme for the site.

“This new application makes minor amendments to the hotel scheme approved in the original application. The new hotel will provide a vital service, regenerate this long-term derelict site, which is long overdue, and help to generate further use of the facilities and services currently provided in the City.”

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