PLANS to reopen a prominent Chester pub have moved a step closer to completion after they were approved by Cheshire West and Chester Council.

The George and Dragon, which has remained closed since the Covid pandemic, is set to be renovated and reopened by owners Greene King. Planning documents submitted in February this year have now been approved, with the owners set to carry out external and internal repairs.

In a summary, Walsingham Planning on behalf of Greene King said the proposed works comprise: "External and internal works of repair, refurbishment and redecoration of the building; repair and refurbishment of boundary walls, railings and balustrade; removal of external decking, new patio and installation of festoon lighting on wooden posts; repair and remark car park and new floodlights; replace and re-site external air conditioning units; new signage and new building mounted lighting."

The plans confirm that the recognisable layout of the Grade II listed building will remain, stating that the work will "not change the external appearance of the building", internally there will be an update for the bar at ground level and its 14 upstairs bedrooms to once again provide accommodation.

The documents also reference the outdoor area as a potential focus for improvement, stating that its current set up is "not particularly welcoming or attractive." Documents also highlight "seemingly limited investment" that has taken place in the building since the 1980s and "the absence of any notable works of repair, maintenance and refurbishment."

Walsingham Planning adds: "The works will protect, conserve and enhance the listed building and are intended to give the premises the best possible chance of a success, sustainable and viable long -term future as public house."

Planning consultants had requested the council treat the application as a matter of priority, as they said the nature of the works require being done during the summer. It is expected that these will now begin in earnest.