A boutique hotel with 21 en suite rooms could be created in a prominent location on Chester’s inner ring road.
Cheshire West and Chester Council has received a planning application centred on grade II-listed buildings in a Georgian terrace at 16 and 18 Nicholas Street.
A previous scheme across 16-20 Nicholas Street for 55 en suite rooms was withdrawn.
Change of use planning permission and listed building consent is required to convert existing offices and a licensed club, previously run as the Liberal Club until 2013.
Alterations would involve installing a lift to number 18 as well creating new openings and corridors to interconnect the two Georgian buildings.
Facilities would include a dining room and sitting room with a bar as well as parking for 20 vehicles at the rear.
The planning application has been lodged by Michael Bartlett, whose family own the buildings and run Bartlett’s Solicitors from the ground and first floors of number 16, which will continue.
A document accompanying the plans states: “The continued use of these period listed houses as cellular offices is no longer an economic option, as modern requirements are for open plan offices which cannot be met here.”
It concludes: “16 and 12 Nicholas Street has the potential to become a unique boutique hotel, in restored grade II-listed period buildings, with all the modern amenities which guests require, together with all Georgian interiors, so essential to complement these buildings.
“We believe that it will be an asset to the historic town of Chester, adding to tourism and creating employment.”
Designed by Joseph Turner, the Nicholas Street buildings date from 1780 and originally comprised ten town houses. The terrace became known as ‘Pillbox Promenade’ or ‘Pillbox Row’ because many were used as doctors’ surgeries but later the street became well known as a base for law firms.
Number 16 has been offices since the 1950s and the lower ground floor was used as a sauna for many years but in 1991 was joined with number 18 to provide catering facilities for the Liberal Club.
Number 18 is understood to have been used as a Temperance Hotel before the war. At a later stage the whole building became The Liberal Club until 1990 when the accommodation was reduced to the lower ground floor only. Since closing in 2013, the club has remained vacant.
Numbers 18 and 20 was occupied by one tenant, Gifford & Partners, from 1990 to 2012 but it has not been possible to secure a tenant since that time.