Developers selected to buy council-owned Backford Hall have revealed their plans to redevelop the site.
Cheshire West and Chester Council agreed to sell the Grade II-listed Jacobean hall and grounds to Cheshire-based Jones Homes in a deal worth up to £5.4m, subject to planning permission.
Jones Homes is now consulting on its plans which feature 65 houses comprising 10 apartments in Backford Hall; seven semi-detached dwellings in the coach house, stables and barn; conversion of the detached lodge conversion and 47 new-build, two, three, four and five bedroom houses. This includes 15 affordable homes.
Jones Homes says its scheme “respects and works with” the setting of the listed buildings and the settlement of Backford to return the site to its “former residential use”.
It adds: “The careful restoration and conversion of the listed buildings is proposed to make the most of the historic asset and return Backford Hall to its former prominence.”
Jones Homes says “fundamental” to the project is the removal of the large amount of unsympathetically, functionally-built development in the setting of the listed buildings.
CWaC put the historic Backford Hall on the market as part of its plan to rationalise its inherited property portfolio, localise services and save taxpayers’ cash.
Around 200 members of staff from several services were relocated to district offices to enable the sale of the 147-year-old hall, its Lodge House and 24 acres of grounds and pasture land.
Cheshire County Council bought the 40-room Backford Hall, with its galleried hall, mahogany staircase, twisted chimneys and ornamental ceilings, in 1946 for just £10,000.
It had previously doubled as a country club, headquarters of the Salvatorian religious order and Liverpool shipping company office.
Backford Hall was built in 1863 in a mixture of Jacobean and Elizabethan styles for Lt Col Edward Holt Clegg, part of a Gayton landed gentry family that had owned the estate since the 18th century. There had been two previous houses on the site, the earliest dating from the 16th century.
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