Mall owners HIG Chester Property Sarl have received approval from Cheshire West and Chester Council to transform vacant retail and office space at the Pepper Street entrance into a hotel with bar and restaurant.
The hotel is an alternative to previous plans for a second phase of Chester’s dining quarter.
That’s because only one potential restaurant occupier came forward. However, the eatery – Caribbean restaurant Turtle Bay – will still be accommodated alongside the hotel.
A statement accompanying the planning application confirms: “The hotel will be operated by Premier Inn and the bar-restaurant will be part of their ‘Bar and Block’ brand. It is proposed that works will commence as soon as practicable following the grant of planning permission.”
Planning officer Lyndsay Shinner took into account comments from Chester Cycling Campaign who called for cycle parking provision – an additional plan now shows storage for ten cycles – and Bridge Street Residents Association (BSRA) who welcomed the application subject to conditions.
However, worries were raised by The Church Bar and Restaurant in nearby Newgate Street.
Ms Shinner wrote: “The Church Bar and Restaurant has raised concerns regarding the possible noise impact their late night licence would have on future hotel guests and for the potential to impact negatively on their business, lack of demand for another hotel, the outlook of the hotel guests onto their rear service yard and the proposed changes to their fire escape.”
But in granting permission she found ‘no unacceptable impacts in respect of residential amenity, highway safety, character of the conservation area and the setting of listed buildings’.
The Premier Inn would be across the road from where rival Travelodge is creating a 112-bed hotel in a conversion of Windsor House. Travelodge also runs a hotel overlooking the amphitheatre.
Premier Inn already operates hotels in City Road, Chester, and Bache.