Chorley set for new wedding venue at historic site

An historic building in Chorley is set to become a wedding venue after councillors welcomed plans which it was claimed would save the structure from ruin.

Thursday, 28th October 2021, 6:04 pm

The grade 1-listed “Great Barn” within the grounds of Hoghton Tower will be restored and converted for its new matrimonial purpose.

Permission was granted at a recent meeting of Chorley Council’s planning committee, just over a year after a previous proposal to create a temporary wedding venue was also approved. That plan would have seen a marquee installed within the building, but this element of the scheme has now been dropped.

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The Great Barn at Hoghton Tower is set to play host to some special days (image: Mark L MacDonald, under Creative Commons licence)

The most significant alterations to the late seventeenth century barn will be the removal of a mezzanine floor - which was not part of the original structure - as well as a range of essential repairs.

The green light has also been given to major works to an attached stable block, which was described as being in a “dilapidated” state and in need of partial rebuilding.

Christie McDonald, the agent for the application, told the committee meeting that there was “little chance” of repairing the buildings and maintaining them in the long term if the proposed conversion was not approved.

“A viable and beneficial use is essential for these buildings to secure their futures,” he added.

Committee member Martin Boardman lauded the scheme as a “superb” addition to the Hoghton Tower site.

“It is nice to see that historic buildings are getting reused for something in the modern day - and what better use than to see two people getting married?” Cllr Boardman commented.

Planning officers described the Great Barn as boasting a “high level of constructional and architectural finesse” - and Cllr Alex Hilton added that it was “essential” to save the building and those around it.

As part of the application, approval was also given for “flexible” use of the 16 outbuildings either attached to or surrounding the barn, should they not ultimately be required to deliver the wedding operation. That could see them used as for retail or office purposes.

Hoghton Tower itself already operates as a wedding venue and a spokesperson told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that the stable block repairs were likely to be carried first as part of a phased approach being taken to the Great Barn conversion.

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