BEST-READ STORIES OF 2022 - Ambitious plans for Chateau Impney site to restore historic hall to its former glory - The Droitwich Standard

BEST-READ STORIES OF 2022 - Ambitious plans for Chateau Impney site to restore historic hall to its former glory

Droitwich Editorial 30th Dec, 2022   0

ONE OF the best-read stories of the year in Droitwich was our exclusive about the plans for the future of the Chateau Impney site.

We revealed back in April how the historic Impney Hall would be restored to its former glory with all the 20th century extensions and hard-standing car parks removed so the equally historic parkland could be reinstated on the sigte.

The aims of the plans are to take the historic hall back to how it was when Salt King John Corbett created it.

The historic hall would reopen as a boutique hotel and commercial premises.

The green space increase will lead to a 42 per cent ‘biodiversity gain’ – almost unheard of in any planning application – and 990 per cent more hedgerow.

The ‘Little Impney’ village of 127 properties and four new commercial premises would be created on what would have been the estate’s working area and be away from the main hall and screened from it.

The properties would more than meet current and future national housing design and environmental standards, boasting elements such as air source heat pumps, home working space and EV (electric vehicle) chargers.

The public right of way – John Corbett Way – would also be dramatically improved and pedestrian and cycle routes wold be created to improve connectivity between the estate and Droitwich.

Rod Spollon from owners Greyfort Group was praised for his ‘unique’ consultation approach which saw him offer people the chance to tour the site in August on a golf buggy while he explained the proposals stage-by-stage.

It proved popular with more than 160 people going on the tours and their response to what they had seen was overwhelmingly positive.

Of the 163 forms detailing residents’ views on the plans, there was no single outright objection to the proposed masterplan put forward by owners Greyfort Group.

The plans were given the go ahead – with conditions – by Wychavon District Council in September. Click here to read the latest story.

The history of the site

Local industrialist and Salt King John Corbett bought the land in the 1870s and created the Louis XIII style chateau – Impney Hall – in the grounds, along with ornamental gardens, a landscaped park, a walled garden and farmland.

Impney Hall began trading as a hotel in the 1920s and after the Second World War – during which time it was requisitioned by the Government – the hall was reopened under its new name the ‘Chateau Impney’.

The expansion of the hall and wider estate was undertaken in the latter half of the century to provide vast exhibition and conference facilities, accommodation blocks, residential properties and workshops.

This led to the main house losing many of its historic features, including the walled garden and some of the landscaped parkland.

The estate went into receivership in 2009 and was bought by the Greyfort Group in 2012 and served as a hotel and exhibition centre.

But in 2020, that model could not provide the estate’s ongoing investment and last March at the outbreak of the pandemic, the large events business ceased trading.

It is hoped these latest plans will safeguard the long-term future – both of Impney Hall and the site.

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