Opening up the cathedral bell tower to visitors is the long term aim of plans designed to attract visitors from the City Walls and a walkway into the gardens where it stands.
At the moment the bell tower, called Addleshaw Tower, is only used by bell ringers and is at the top of a steep bank.
Chester Cathedral hopes to open up the grade II-listed tower to general visitors where a small shop would operate and from there people would be sign-posted into the cathedral itself.
That’s why planning and listed building applications have been lodged to move the existing railings and gate in Bell Tower Walk further into the gardens with a proposal to lay a new paved area around the tower, creating level access to the bell tower and gardens.
The plans also fit in with the new al fresco area created by nearby Italian eaterie Ristorante Sergio in Bell Tower Walk.
A statement accompanying the applications says: “The proposal has been primarily designed to connect the Cathedral Gardens to two busy pedestrian thoroughfares that are adjacent to Addleshaw Tower; the historic Chester City Walls and the Bell Tower Walk.
“The design focuses on enlarging the Bell Tower Walk by moving the existing railings of the walk back into the Cathedral Gardens, providing a larger paved area around Addleshaw Tower. This will also avoid the steep bank that currently exists within the Cathedral Gardens, at the base of the tower, improving current accessibility to the gardens.”