The restoration of Cuerden Hall and its gardens is expected to take five years. Credit: via Roland Dransfield

Shenton gets go-ahead for £15m country pile 

Chorley Council has granted Manchester businessman Colin Shenton permission to convert the listed Cuerden Hall into a private residence. 

At a meeting on Tuesday, the local authority’s planning committee voted unanimously to approve the project. 

The 75,000 sq ft hall is split into four sections: Wyatt Wing, 1717 House, a service court, and an office wing.

Under Shenton’s plans, the Wyatt Wing on the west of the property is to house formal rooms, including a ballroom, dining room, and library.  

Secondly, 1717 House is to be refurbished and converted for use as the property’s main living area. It would feature a sitting room, three kitchens and a larder, as well as an extension to the southern elevation that will become an orangery.  

The service court would comprise several leisure facilities including a gym, steam room, sauna, and relaxation room.  The courtyard itself is earmarked to house an indoor swimming pool – a contemporary take on the form of a Victorian palm court or glasshouse, according to architect Purcell.  

The final section of the house comprises the office wing and stable yard, which is to be converted into guest and staff accommodation under Shenton’s plans. 

The refurbishment project will see all modern additions to the building stripped out, including light fittings, suspended ceilings, and partition walls, while several original features will be reinstated. 

These include restoring the fire-damaged element of the stable yard, reinstating original hardwood floors, and bringing historic chimneys back into use

As part of the project, the gardens are to be extensively redesigned by landscape architect Tom Stuart-Smith, whose work includes the £35m RHS Garden Bridgewater in Salford. This element of the scheme includes the introduction of 50 new trees. 

The £15m restoration of Cuerden Hall and its gardens is expected to take five years. 

Once the refurbishment completes, Shenton, founder of pay-per-minute co-working space Ziferblat and co-living provider Oppidan Life, plans to live at Cuerden Hall. 

The grade two star-listed Cuerden Hall, part of the wider Cuerden Valley Park, was most recently used as a Sue Ryder neurological care centre. The care home relocated to Eastway in Preston in 2020, leaving the site vacant. 

The Shady Lane building was constructed by the High Sheriff of Lancashire, Banastre Parker, in 1717 and occupied by the Parker family until the First World War, when it was used as an infirmary.   

To learn more about the project, search for planning reference 21/00530/FULMAJ on Chorley Council’s planning portal.

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