Manchester Evening News Article

Manchester Evening News Article

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/local-news/owner-unveils-hotel-plan-for-historic-918423

THE historic Healey Hall could soon be converted into an 11-bedroom country hotel. The owner of the 17th century building in Shawclough Road has applied for planning permission to make the switch.

THE historic Healey Hall could soon be converted into an 11-bedroom country hotel.

The owner of the 17th century building in Shawclough Road has applied for planning permission to make the switch.

Boasting 36 rooms on five floors, with sauna, snooker room, observatory, ballroom, gymnasium and its own private chapel, plus 12 acres of land, the hall was priced at £2.5M when put up for sale in 2007, but it failed to attract a buyer.

Jason Stead, who bought the grade two listed building in 2000 and painstakingly renovated it from scratch in a huge labour of love, planned to move into Clegg Hall on completion of renovations there, but saw his plans hit by the recession.

A year later he applied – and won – planning permission to build a garage with living accommodation in the form of a two-storey building, which he believed would enhance the hall’s saleability.

The application brought objections from neighbours on the grounds it would not be in keeping with the area and would overlook their properties.

But Mr Stead maintained that potential buyers of his home would expect a property of its size to have an outbuilding and garaging.

Rochdale Township planning sub-committee made it a condition that the building could be occupied by a person employed, or last employed, at Healey Hall.

Mr Stead’s latest plans to convert the Georgian mansion into a hotel will now go out to consultation with nearby residents whose homes overlook the hall.

In a statement to the council, it is revealed that inquiries have dried up on the property, despite the selling price being reduced.

Mr Stead is now forced to consider alternative uses to attract a buyer, says the statement to the council’s planning department.

There have been inquiries about institutional use, offices, hotel and residential sub-division, but a country hotel would have the least effect on the integrity of the building, claims the statement.

It already has many features required of a hotel – elegant dining, reception and sitting rooms, as well as 11 bedrooms and a wine cellar – and has been restored to a high standard throughout.

It was not intended to increase the number of bedrooms and, both internally and externally, every effort would be made to minimise the impact of car parking, the setting of listed buildings and the amenity of nearby residents.

Access would continue to be provided along the tree-lined drive from Shawclough Road.

Prior to its current use as a luxury home for Mr Stead and his family, planning permission was granted for its conversion as a restaurant. In the 1980s it was a 12-bedroom home for the elderly.

Officers have delegated powers to decide the application but it is more likely to be determined by committee – the date is yet to be confirmed.

l There has been a manor on the site since 1250, when John de Heley first took on the land.

The family built a Jacobean hall in 1618 and used the cellar of that building as the foundation of the present Georgian mansion in 1774.

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