Outline plans submitted on behalf of Lady Rona Delves-Broughton for up to 102 houses on 12 sites around the Doddington Hall estate in Nantwich will go before Cheshire East’s strategic planning board on Wednesday with a recommendation for approval.
An estate masterplan, with the aim of restoring and converting the grade one-listed hall was first announced seven years ago, and permission was granted in 2015 for the hall to be turned into a hotel and spa. The houses would be delivered over 15 years in total. A 13th site, to be used for a car park for Bridgemere School, is also included in the application.
Although each of the 12 sites are classed as Open Countryside, the applicant is seeking an exception to the normal planning tests, as the scheme will enable the conversion and restoration project by filling a shortfall in funding.
In documents filed to support the planning application, cost consultant Rees Mellish states that the end value of the hotel, as of 2015, was estimated at £22m, but that the estimated costs of works would be £35m.
The key parts of the project are the restoration and conversion of the hall and grade two-listed stables, and the conservation and refurbishment of the barns and Delves Tower castle, which are also listed and on Historic England’s At Risk register.
The council’s summary of the planning application stated that there is “a clear need for urgent intervention in the very near future”. The hall itself requires extensive structural work and the addition of new wings for bedrooms and a spa facility.
The various proposals have been met with some resistance due to their impact on the rural area concerned. A series of conditions have been attached to the consent, with one point being that no dwelling should be more than two storeys in height.
The professional team includes Assael as architect and lead consultant, J10 Planning, Clayton Property as client representative and surveyor, RPS CgMs as archaelogoical consultant, Barnes Walker on landscaping and Kingdom Ecology.