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Gloucestershire Business News

Former Gloucester City Council offices WILL be turned into luxury hotel

It's official: The historic docks warehouses that were once home to Gloucester City Council will be turned into a hotel.

The Council's cabinet will meet this evening with a packed agenda of business up for discussion, including the disposal of Herbert, Kimberley and Phillpotts Warehouses.

And documents prepared ahead of that meeting have confirmed that the council has held discussions with three hotel chains about them taking over the buildings.

A preferred bidder has been identified and talks will progress between them, the Council and the owners of the site the Canal and River Trust to finalise a deal.

The Grade II Listed buildings were built in the mid-19th Century and used as corn warehouses.

They were converted into offices for the City Council in 1985 and they remained there until the spring of 2019 when they relocated to nearby County Council offices at Shire Hall.

At tonight's meeting - held at nearby North Warehouse - cabinet will be asked to resolve for the council's property commissioning manager to continue negotiations with the interested parties.

When the properties were initially marketing for sale, 50 parties came forward to express an interest.

Documents filed ahead of the meeting say: "...of those, five responses were received from potential purchasers for a variety of uses and on differing terms and subject to different conditions.

"Two of the offers were less attractive as they were for uses where it is extremely unlikely that planning consent could be obtained.

"The remaining three offers are all from developers looking to create a hotel in all or part of the accommodation.

"All three offers were subject to planning approval and would require a variation to the user clause in the Council's leases to allow a hotel use.

"Officers are in discussion with the Council's landlord, the Canal and River Trust, over these changes and have reached agreement subject to final contractual details.

"These negotiations have been based on a quid pro quo arrangement as the outline agreement involves releasing rights the Council has over the Canal and River Trust retained land elsewhere in the Docks."

The documents add that from the three viable bids, the council "have identified a preferred bidder."

It adds: "We have informed the other two bidders that we are seeking agreement with another party but have retained the right to return to them if negotiations fail."

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