PLANS have been lodged to convert former city centre office buildings into a luxury aparthotel with a restaurant and rooftop swimming pool.

The proposed redevelopment of the vacant Grade II listed properties on Nicholas Street, which form part of a row of terraced Georgian townhouses constructed in 1780, would provide nearly 70 jobs.

Developers Walker&Williams want to create a total of 53 "high-quality" apartment suites, a restaurant of 55 covers and a cantilevered rooftop swimming pool at 26 and 28 Nicholas Street.

It forms part of a wider site proposal, which would also see the redevelopment of 3 Nicholas Street Mews – along with the attached outbuildings and garages – to provide a total of six residential mews cottages, and the construction of two three-storey townhouses on the existing car park.

Both full planning and listed building consent applications have been submitted to Cheshire West and Chester Council, which state a total of 24 full-time and 43 part-time roles will be created by the scheme.

The site, which was valued at £1.6m with the offices formerly occupied by a legal firm, saw numerous squatters gain unauthorised access to the building in late 2019 and reside there for several weeks before being evicted.

Chester and District Standard:

The design and access statement submitted on behalf of the developers states: "This application is for the proposed mixed-use redevelopment of the site to provide a number of different facilities; numbers 26 and 28 Nicholas Street will provide a luxury ApartHotel facility with a total of 53nr high-quality suites in the heart of Chester city centre, with an attached restaurant/bar at roof level and an elevated rooftop terrace with swimming pool.

"The redevelopment of 3 Nicholas Street Mews, attached outbuildings and garages will provide a total of six residential mews cottages; and the car park on Nicholas Street Mews will be redeveloped to provide two residential three-storey townhouses.

"The existing townhouse buildings on Nicholas Street are presently vacant, having been last utilised for office space. The continued use of the townhouses as cellular offices is no longer a viable economic option, as modern requirements for open plan offices cannot be met here.

"The change of use to an ApartHotel will require a number of internal reconfiguration works to numbers 26 and 28 Nicholas Street as part of the redevelopment.

Chester and District Standard:

An artist impression of the rooftop swimming pool looking out towards the Chester Racecourse.

"Alterations to the exterior and interior of the townhouse buildings are intended to have a minimal impact on the historic fabric of the building. The design has been formulated to entirely retain the external townhouse elevations, including all decorative features and windows.

"A proposed rooftop swimming pool with cantilevered structural glass element is proposed on the south wing and an elevated terrace is proposed to connect the two wings at second floor level.

"The terrace and swimming pool will not be visible from Nicholas Street or from street level along Nicholas Street Mews, with only partial views of the terrace and views of the swimming along Grey Friars."