Application submitted to turn historic Grade II* listed mansion into wellbeing retreat
Elgan Hearn, local democracy reporter
Planning applications have been lodged with Powys County Council that could turn a Grade II* (star) listed historic mansion near Welshpool into a mental health wellbeing retreat, with accommodation and private living quarters.
Llannerchydol Hall near Welshpool was bought last year by Ben Sutterby, Raj Saini and George Desmond Doge.
They have formed a company, Llannerchydol Hall Limited to provide: “holiday and other collective accommodation” and the “operation of historical sites and buildings and similar visitor attractions.”
The initial proposal which is also accompanied by a listed building consent application is to convert the clock tower into two accommodation units with three bedrooms each.
Two parts of the stables will also be converted to become tearoom and functions room.
The applications were lodged in July last year.
Powys County Councillor for the Welshpool Llannerchyddol (correct spelling) ward Graham Breeze says that he has been contacted by “concerned locals” who believe that work on the scheme has already started.
Cllr Breeze said: “I wish this application to be called in for discussion by the Planning committee.
“I have concerns about the impact of the work being carried out and proposed on this historical listed building.”
Planning agent, Simon Angell said: “The site layout will remain the same as there is no new build included within the project apart from the outside toilet.”
The council’s built heritage officer, Dr Sam Johnson said: “Broadly, the proposal would see the building made weather tight, and given a use.
“However, the details in relation to the existing historic fabric of the building, and what exactly is proposed for these elements is very limited and would not pass the threshold for the overall scheme to be considered positive or neutral.”
He advises planning officers that the application should be refused or withdrawn so that “further details” can be submitted.
Earlier this month a further planning application was lodged with Powys council to make alterations and part conversion of the hall into a mental health and well-being retreat with other parts of the building kept for private residential use.
Mr Angell said: “The alterations and part conversion will be part of a two stage development of Llanerchydol Hall both of which are in need urgent attention due to years of neglect.
“The conversion of the stable block is currently a separate planning application and awaiting a decision.”
“Such developments would ensure that the hall and its outbuildings are fully renovated to a high standard and preserved for future generations.
“It is proposed to retain the two upper floors of the west wing and the upper floor of the east wing for private use and the remainder for the mental health and well-being retreat.
Documents include a letter from the owners explaining their vision for Llannerchydol Hall.
Mr Doge, Mr Sutterby and Ms Saini said: “What we would like to do with this new planning application, in conjunction with our existing application is to preserve our heritage, and allow ordinary people to access and enjoy it, too.
“We want to provide a nurturing environment for visitors to draw inspiration from, and commune with nature.
“The sublime parkland setting provides a perfect space to breathe and escape from the pressures of modern living.”
The owners “aspire” to provide retreats and workshops including meditation and yoga that can help people improve their mental wellbeing as well as provide exhibition space for Welsh artist and “boutique” accommodation.
They said: “In its current state, the stable block is derelict and abandoned for many decades.
“The ramshackle, tin roof leaks, it is structurally unsound and water has destroyed the interior of the building.
“The west wing has had leaks, and has mouldy walls it needs a heating system, new drainage and renovation,
“The plans that we have submitted will allow us to update Llanerchydol Hall, and preserve it for many years to come.”
A decision is expected by Powys planners soon.
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