Homes plan for four-star Ludlow restaurant

Plans to turn a four-star Ludlow hotel and restaurant into housing have been submitted after the owners said they intend to close the business.

Dinham Hall, Ludlow
Dinham Hall, Ludlow

Dinham Hall Hotel in Ludlow and its adjoining restaurant, Elliotts Bistro, have been owned by Franck and Louise Choblet for 12 years, but they have now had plans drawn up for the conversion of the Grade II listed Georgian building.

Under proposals submitted to Shropshire Council, the the 13-bed hotel will be reconfigured into four apartments and the restaurant turned back into a self-contained house.

Minor work is also planned to refurbish the two cottages in the grounds, one of which is currently used as manager’s accommodation for the hotel.

There will be no alterations to the outside of the buildings, except for the removal of the hotel and restaurant signage.

A design and access statement by Inklines Ltd, agent to the applicants, says: “It should be noted that it is desirable to keep listed buildings in viable long-term use consistent with their conversion.

“There is a high level of local need for smaller high quality housing, this was demonstrated by a level of interest from the public presentation.”

Each property will have two allocated spaces within the existing car park, where an electric vehicle charging point and cycle storage will also be provided.

Work inside the main house will involve the removal of some of the en-suite bathrooms and more modern partition walls.

The entrance halls and stairs will be retained with the addition of a lift. Each property will have access to either a private or communal garden.

Sustainable

The hall, which sits in the shadow of Ludlow Castle, was built in 1792 by Samuel Nash for Richard Payne Knight of Downton Castle in Herefordshire, who was serving as MP for Ludlow at the time.

It was bought by the current owners in 2008.

A heritage impact assessment prepared by CJ Richards MBE Conservation Services says: “It is considered that the proposed sub-division of Dinham Hall for residential use is an inherently sustainable proposal.

“It retains and gives long term beneficial use to an important historic building in Ludlow.

“It is a central location within the town with all existing services and infrastructure to hand, and it can be achieved without detriment to neighbouring heritage assets or the wider Conservation Area.”

The agent’s statement concludes: “The building and grounds are important historically and culturally to the centre of Ludlow.

“The application wishes to preserve this building and not harm the building in any way.

“The conversion of the main body of the building into five independent dwellings will require interventions but these will be made with great care that has been backed up with the report by CJ Richards MBE Conservation Services.

“The building has had different uses over the course of its history and it is hoped that this conversion will be a further step in its evolution and will not detract from this building’s obvious heritage.”

The conversion plans were first revealed when Gareth Davies of Inklines Ltd presented the proposals to Ludlow Town’s Council at a meeting in August.

Following the meeting, the owners assured staff and customers the hotel would not be closing imminently.

They said: “This process would take several months, and if this application was granted, the development would be unlikely to start for another two or three years.”

The application will now be decided by Shropshire Council.

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