Changes Approved for Chester’s Old Palace
Acting on behalf of Sanguine Hospitality, HOW Planning has secured full planning approval for the redevelopment of The Old Palace on Little St John’s Street in Chester city centre.
The Old Palace is a Grade II* listed Georgian house dating from 1745 and historically was the residence of the Bishop of Chester. It has more recently been used as office space but is currently vacant.
Cheshire West & Chester Council has granted a change of use and listed building consent, to convert the existing building from office use to an exclusive wedding and event venue set in high quality landscaped grounds.
Sanguine Hospitality is planning a major refurbishment project for the full scale conversion of the building and the design team has worked with Mel Morris Conservation to prepare the application which ensures a sympathetic conversion, bringing the vacant building back to life.
Plans include 24 luxury guest bedrooms and support facilities as well as car parking, goods service access and landscaped grounds with stunning views over the River Dee. Designed by Edge Architects, the work includes limited external alterations. A contemporary glazed extension to the western elevation will form part of a new function room with views of the City Walls and Roman Gardens.
Says Conor Vallelly, Associate at HOW Planning: “Buildings of this nature only make up around 6% of all listed buildings in England, therefore, a highly detailed and sympathetic approach towards its restoration was needed, working in partnership with the Council and Historic England. The Old Palace is vacant and in need of a new lease of life. Sanguine’s proposals sensitively fulfil this objective, protecting and enhancing its special value whilst delivering a unique 5-star wedding venue for Chester.”
The Old Palace was originally built in 1745 for the Bishop of Chester and remained the main residence of future Bishops until the 1920s. Most recently it has been used as office accommodation but is currently unused and remains empty. The proposals for its transformation have evolved following extensive consultation with officers at Cheshire West and Chester Council, Historic England and the appointed heritage consultant, Mel Morris Conservation.