HIG Chester Property Sarl and Bride Hall Real Estate Partners have submitted a change-of-use planning application to provide a 112-bed hotel at Windsor House, Pepper Street, including a ground floor bar and restaurant and roof-top extension.
The companies, which also own The Grosvenor Shopping Centre across the road, have held ‘detailed discussions’ with Travelodge who are keen to secure extra bedrooms in the city in addition to their existing 60-bed hotel overlooking the amphitheatre.
A planning statement accompanying the plans states: “They already have a hotel within the city centre and this new accommodation will help them to expand their offer and provide more visitor accommodation within the city centre.”
The new scheme will see accessible, double and family rooms across four floors including the extension on the fifth floor. The Tesco Express would be retained at ground floor level with a small car park in a rear courtyard.
Travelodge previously ran a second 160-bed Chester hotel by the fountains roundabout which was controversial because of its functional appearance on a major gateway into the city centre.
But the budget hotel chain sold the building to the University of Chester for conversion to a hall of residence now called Sumner House as part of a 2012 rescue package for the group.
Travelodge had been dragged down by its £100m annual interest payments on debt so secured backing from creditors and landlords for a deal which involved selling 49 of its 500-plus hotels – described in the national press as poorer performing leases – including the Delamere Street operation. Travelodge has since seen a surge in profits.