Proposals for Somerford Booths Hall approved

Michael Hunt

Cheshire East Council has approved plans to restore the Grade II-listed Hall in Congleton into a family home together with related listed building consent.

Bell Meadow Property Developments proposed three new properties to also be built within the grounds.

Following the submission of plans by HOW Planning on Bell Meadow's behalf in April this year, the developer said the Hall was originally used as a family home when it was built in 1612.

Throughout the preparation of the application, HOW said extensive research was carried out with the former Congleton 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.

Cheshire East Council said it approved plans subject to conditions which protect the character and appearance of the listed building.

For instance, the council said no alterations can be made to the Hall's original roof structure.

Within a council planning document published on Wednesday 24 November, it said: "As a conclusion their [English Heritage's] view is that the proposed alterations and additions will have a beneficial impact on the listed building. The new development will not have a harmful impact on the setting of the listed building and is acceptable.

"Subject to these issues being addressed the application should be determined in accordance with national and local policy guidance and on the basis of the council's own specialist advice. It is not necessary for EH to be consulted again.

"It is believed that the cost of the restoration will be in the region of £1m to £1.5m.

"As part of the funding for the development, the existing three residential properties on the site together with their ancillary accommodation will be demolished and replaced with three individually designed properties comprising the Coach House, the farmhouse located to the rear of the existing walled garden and the gate house located in the bottom of the valley on land previously occupied by stabling and forming a gate house to the main entrance to Somerford Booths Hall."

Congleton Council became part of Cheshire East Council, when it was launched in April 2009.

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