Plans submitted for Somerford Booths Hall

Michael Hunt

Bell Meadow Property Developments has submitted a full planning application together with a related listed building consent to restore the Grade II-listed Somerford Booths Hall in Congleton, Cheshire.

The developer aims to transform the Hall back into a family home, which it said was the original purpose when built in 1612, following the submission of plans by HOW Planning on its behalf.

The applications aim to restore the main house as well as add three new properties to be built within the grounds.

Throughout the preparation of the application, HOW said extensive research has been carried out with the former Congleton Borough Council and English Heritage to ensure any future plans take into account the original architecture and design whilst at the same time introducing new elements required for a modern family home.

Carol Clarke, a planner at HOW, said: "Somerford Booths Hall is in a stunning rural location in the heart of Cheshire. The additions that have been made over the years have been very poor, so we are committed to ensuring the whole estate is transformed to an extremely high standard and the Hall is restored to its former status. We believe the proposals we have submitted will achieve this aim and more."

Congleton Borough Council became part of Cheshire East Council, when it was launched in April last year.

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I was iterested to see that Somerford Bopoths Hall is going to be restored. I am a local historian and currently writing the history of this hall. The later part of its history is more difficult to determine. Could you possibly tell me who you obtained the hall from and what date. I would also very much appreciate being able to take some photographs of the hall as it is at present. I have some very old photographs but it would be useful to see it as it is at present. I am retired so could probably fit in with any tim that might suit you.

By Lyndon Murgatroyd

I BELIEVE THIS IS THE SAME SOMERFORD HALL THAT WAS TURNED INTO A CAMP FOR BOYS EVACUATERD FROM MANCHESTER DURING THE WAR – MY LATE FATHER WAS A HOUSEMASTER THERE – AND I’M DELIGHTED TO SEE THAT IT IS TO BE RETURNED TO ITS FORMER STATE – ON THE ONE OCCASION, A FEW YEARS AGO, THAT I SAW THE BUILDING IT SEEMED TO HAVE BEEN MADE INTO COMMERCIAL PREMISES AND IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE TO SEE WHAT IT WOULD HAVE LOOKED LIKE IN ITS EARLIER DAYS.

By SHELAGH GARVEY

Message for Shiela Garvey
Sorry Shiela you are incorrect about it being turned into a camp. That was Somerford Hall owned by the Shakerely family. The hall was demolished in 1927 approx. The only part of the original estate still standing is Somerford Chapel The grounds were used as a campsite for many years. I believe now that some of the land is taken up by the horse training centre at Somerford. Hope that helps.

By Lyndon Murgatroyd

The hall was used as the headquarters for "Half Price Jewelers" from around 1986 until recently, employing myself and many local people to sort and send out jewelry to their many outlets from Scotland to Jersey and Ireland.

By John Askey

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