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Hotel and gym complex plan at former Halifax nightclub site

How Black Swan Passage might look  the companys preferred option
How Black Swan Passage might look the companys preferred option

A new 80-bedroom hotel and gym could revitalise a Halifax town centre street, if planners go for the idea.

If it is successful, it will be the second Halifax hotel proposal approved this year – in March Calderdale Council gave the go-ahead to convert the Grade II Listed Theatre Royal in Wards End into a 91-bedroom Holiday Inn Express Hotel.

Now Ulus Trading Limited has applied to Calderdale Council for permission to redevelop the building at 13-17 Silver Street, Halifax.

The London-based company wants to retain the Silver Street and part of the Black Swan passage – described as as a typical historic ginnel and which links Silver Street to George Square – facades while demolishing the remainder of the existing building to create the hotel complex.

The 80-bedroom hotel would occupy the first to fourth floors with the ground floor given over to retail and the basement for a gym.

The premises’ associated back yard would be used for refuse, cycle, motorcycle and service access.

A heritage statement submitted by the applicants suggests it was built between 1884 and 1886 for cabinet makers, furnishers and upholsterers Thomas Simpson and Sons, a company which originally started at Woolshops at the end of the Napoleanic Wars.

Their new premises were built on the site of the White Lion Hotel and Posting House and Simpsons also manufactured at their Steam Cabinet Works in Corporation Street – in short,it was one of the largest furnishers in the north of England.

Since then the site has formerly operated under nightclub, retail and office uses but the building has been vacant for some time.

A number of Grade II listed mid-to-late 19th century buildings are close by on the same street.

Eight years ago a similar scheme was submitted including elements of demolition and gained approval, says the submission, establishing the principle of removal of the rear building.

These latest designs respect the scale of neighbouring buildings and views of the town – subtle rather than dominating Silver Street’s appearance.

“We believe that we have justified the approach taken with the current application for redevelopment in light of previous approvals on the application site and through the review of heritage assets,” says the statement.

Existing Silver Street and Black Swan Passage facades will be retained, repaired and converted using materials and building methods to match the high quality of the building as it is and the proposed extension incorporates the same sandstone materials, it adds.

“The site has laid vacant for years and deserves a new lease of life to better serve the local community, vitality and character into the future,” it concludes.

Comments can be submitted to Calderdale Council planning department about the application, which is numbered 18/00406/FUL, until June 22.