Millionaire owner of Cuerden Hall quashes speculation Grade II-listed building is to become a spa hotel
Questions over the commercialisation of historic Cuerden Hall have been shot down by its new owner.
The hall, which dates back to the 1700s and was recently used as a care home by Sue Ryder Care, has been bought by Manchester-based businessman Colin Shenton who hopes to carry out a £15m renovation.
Mr Shenton has repeatedly stated that the hall would be his private family residence, and that “there will be no commercial activities of any kind”.
>>>Take a peek inside Cuerden Hall as it looks now - click hereHowever, details from a budget report recently uploaded to the hall’s website, reveal plans that have made residents wonder whether the long-term intention is for a spa hotel.
As well as plans for a pool and sauna, gym and cinema room, which may be expected for a grand house, there are also plans for a hair salon, spa treatment rooms, a “snow room”, ‘experience shower’, separate male and female changing rooms, a yoga studio and a ‘gym lobby’.
But Mr Shenton said: “We are happy to reconfirm – as we have consistently stated in press releases, on social media, on our website and in interviews – that the hall will be become a private home once again after 100 years of commercial use.
“There will be no commercial uses now or in the future.
“This will be demonstrated in the planning application being submitted in late April for a private dwelling under use C3 of the Use Classes Order.
“All offers received during the sale process except ours were for commercial use. It has been very pleasing to see how much support there has been for the restoration as a private dwelling instead of the hotel, wedding venue or conference centre it could have become with all the associated traffic and wear and tear they would create.”
>>>Read more here about Mr Shenton's plans
The questions have come as Mr Shenton announced that a public consultation is to be held on the hall’s extensive restoration plans.
World-renowned heritage specialist architect, Purcell, and eight-time Chelsea Gold medal winner, landscape designer, Tom Stuart-Smith, will explain the planned changes to both the building, comprising 179 rooms over 75,000 sq. ft., and the 16 acres of gardens and grounds, followed by a public question and answer session.
Mr Shenton said: “Following regular updates on our website and social media, I am delighted that the research into the hall’s history and designs for the restoration are complete. I’m now able to share my vision for the detailed restoration of the Hall to its former glory as a private country home”.
The public consultation will take place online on Tuesday, April 13 at 7pm. Follow @CuerdenHall on Facebook and Twitter for further details, or visit www.cuerdenhall.com.