CWAC open to Dee House proposals

Cheshire West & Chester Council has said that it will launch a full open-market procurement process in the spring to find a developer for Dee House, a grade-2 listed office next to the Chester amphitheatre.

Built in the early 18th Century for a former Mayor of Chester, Dee House has stood empty for more than 20 years. It was previously used as a convent and an office.

To help inform prospective developers, the authority will provide a comprehensive information package including computer-aided drawings from a current laser survey, internal photographs and consultant's report on the archaeological and historical significance.

An internal steering group, led by the Chester Renaissance team and including archaeologists and planners, will oversee the process.

Cllr Stuart Parker, executive member for culture and economy, said: "The building is in a dangerous state due to lack of maintenance over recent decades and will take a considerable amount of money to restore.

"We have to encourage that interest by providing as much information as we can to enable developers to make a decision, including, of course, some idea of acceptable uses.

"Whilst it is true that the condition of Dee House and the building's rather dour architecture pose a doubt in many people's minds about the value of preservation, English Heritage remain adamant that it should be retained.

"Consequently, we are doing everything that we can to find a solution that will achieve that aim and benefit the city."

Any recommendations arising from the procurement exercise will be the subject of full consultation.

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