Lancaster approves Wennington Hall hotel conversion
Bowland Inns & Hotels will get to work in the coming weeks to transform the grade two-listed former residential school into a 51,200 sq ft boutique venue.
Lancaster City Council has approved the company’s plans to convert the historic Wennington Hall into a luxury hotel, retreat and spa, and exclusive weddings and events venue.
Located off Lodge Lane, just outside of Wennington, the two-storey building will add 37 bedrooms to Bowland’s national portfolio, which includes the £10m conversion of Holmes Mill in Clitheroe.
Designed by Stanton Andrews Architects, the scheme will also deliver two extensions to the 1960s townhouse, one to the side dining room and one to the back function room. These extensions will allow additional toilet facilities to be delivered, as well as larger kitchens and a dedicated bar.
Existing outbuildings will be used to hold yoga, pilates, and physio sessions.
There will be “very little alteration to the historic fabric of the building”, according to a design and access statement.
Guests and staff will be provided with 85 car parking spaces, as well as four electrical vehicle charging points.
The hotel will be operated under Bowland’s James’ Places brand, which acquired the country house from Lancashire County Council last summer following the closure of Wennington Hall School. The school was founded in 1954 to provide education for young people with social, economic, and mental health needs.
Bringing the currently redundant building back to life will see the creation of up to 60 full and part-time jobs upon completion.
James Warburton, chairman of James’ Places, said: “Wennington Hall will be a fabulous addition to our family of remarkable buildings and businesses.
There is so much potential here, not just in the hall itself but in the extensive collection of buildings once useful to the school but now in need of fresh ideas”, he continued.
“It is such a beautiful building in stunning gardens and grounds in an idyllic rural location, and yet it’s less than 20 minutes to Lancaster and the M6 motorway.
“Crucially, it is also less than 40 minutes to Morecambe, home to the Eden Project North, the most significant tourism development for Lancashire and the wider North West region for years.”
Plans were submitted for the scheme in May.
The project team includes arboricultural consultant Lakeland Tree Consultancy and transport consultant DTPC. Reford is consulting on flood risk and drainage strategy.
To find out more about the plans, search for application number 23/00576/FUL on Lancaster City Council’s planning portal.