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Gloucestershire Business News

Lucky Onion’s next multi-million hotel development is underway

What do a Gloucester Rugby international, Julian Dunkerton, Dowdeswell Estates, Roberts Limbrick and the Lucky Onion all have in common?

Aside from the fact you can place them all well and truly in Gloucestershire, the connection is a multi-million pound investment and redevelopment of a certain Cheltenham hotel.

Months have passed since news broke Mr Dunkerton's hotel and pub group, Lucky Onion, was revealed as the new owners of the Grade II listed Bayshill Parade hotel, and adjoining Monty's restaurant.

So many months it might well have slipped everyone's mind. But Mr Dunkerton's preferred building firm, Dowdeswell Estates, has revealed it is all systems go.

It revealed the news - and the Gloucester Rugby connection - on social media, and then spoke to Punchline about its plans and revealed when it hopes the project will be finished.

"Scaffolding (courtesy of Ben Morgan and No8 scaffolding), going up outside our latest project for The Lucky Onion. Can't wait to get our teeth stuck into restoring this beautiful hotel back to its former glory," said one of its posts.

For those unaware, the Mr Morgan mentioned above is also Gloucester Rugby's number eight and a former England international.

Chris Gage, a spokesman for the Charlton Kings building firm, said: "We're thrilled to be developing the George Hotel.

"The George is an iconic destination for both Cheltenham and the county and getting the chance to restore this incredible building and giving it a new lease of life; is the sort of project that the Dowdeswell Estates team thrive on.

"For this project, our design team are collaborating closely with the operator, on an exciting new hotel format and design concept, which we feel, has the potential for a nationwide roll out.

"With a significant investment behind it, we're looking at an opening date of March 2020 - just in time for the Cheltenham Festival."

Drawings by Gloucester-based architects Roberts Limbrick were filed earlier this year with Cheltenham Borough Council spelling out how Dunkerton Properties plans to transform what is one of the town's biggest hotels.

Property experts Christie & Co was marketing the once three-star, 31-bedroom, building for £3.25 million, selling it in July 2018 for an undisclosed sum.

"The majority of alterations to the existing building are concentrated at the ground floor. This had previously been opened up to provide meeting rooms and large open area for a bar, restaurant use, with kitchens and associated services to the rear," according to a design and access statement from Roberts Limbrick.

"The proposal is to incorporate en-suite hotel bedrooms through this level and sensitively re-establish some of the original proportions. The back of house kitchen areas are also removed and converted back to rooms.

"The new bedrooms follow the original arrangement with walls on what would have been divisions between the original houses.

"The upper two floors are to remain largely in their current configuration with all the existing hotel bedrooms and en-suites refurbished with new decoration throughout."

The building, which dates back to 1840 and is made up of five converted townhouses, is also in the Bayshill Character Area within Cheltenham's Central Conservation Area.

A planning application has been filed for "listed building consent for alterations, extension or demolition of a listed building".

Agents for Dunkerton Properties LLP are SF Planning Ltd, of Cheltenham.

The Lucky Onion is currently also working on transforming and bringing back to life The Crown Inn at Minchinhampton.

The group currently owns and runs No. 131 and No. 38 The Park, Cheltenham, The Wheatsheaf Inn, Northleach, and The Tavern and The Wild Duck.

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