Following closure in 2009, Grade II Listed Bush Hall Hotel, Hatfield, had fallen into disrepair. During 2018, Gascoyne Cecil Estates undertook essential maintenance and extensive repair to the property to mitigate further damage to the building whilst proposals for the future refurbishment of the property were established.
HUSH, worked alongside Gascoyne and their scheme Architect Gollifer Langston to identify and engage a wider project design team to develop the feasibility study and subsequent design up to Stage 4. Planning permission and Listed Building Consent was awarded in June 2019.
The works were procured in two phases: an enabling works package including site clearance, internal strip out and investigations and demolition of outbuildings and poor-quality 20th Century additions were demolished to facilitate the proposals.
The strip out and enabling works were completed in April 2020, enabling the detailed design to be developed and validated ahead of procuring the main works to shell and core.
The development involved extensive restoration to bring it back into use as a hotel, restaurant and function venue with associated landscaping, and to restore an important feature and landmark to the local community. The refurbishment reduced the overall hotel room provision from 25 down to 14 larger boutique rooms with ensuites, staff accommodation and accessible riverside suites in the remodeled Stable Block – each with their own private riverside terrace.
The Coach House features a modern kitchen, open to the new Dining Room ‘Link’ Building that connects onto the east gable of Bush Hall. The existing bar and lounge areas were refurbished, and the original features, fireplaces and wooden paneling were retained to preserve its 17th century traditional charm and character. The old Bush Hall ‘Barn’ was retained as a dining space allowing it to be closed off for private parties, small gatherings or meetings as required. The scheme also included the construction of a new separate modern Function Room with large bifold doors looking over the river and fields beyond.
The proposals include extensive soft landscaping to be completed by the occupier that will wrap around the building, to support we have completed preparatory works to include site clearance, hard landscaping, replacement of car parking areas including installation of EV charging.
The COVID-19 pandemic questioned the viability of the hotel and events space, halting the works until the following year when it was tendered in July 2021. Historic damp and only immediate remedial work completed, further new issues manifested during this interim pause, including additional areas of dry rot, further refurbishment of lath and plaster ceilings and supplementary remedial works to include steel strengthening to the Stable block terraces as part of the wider main works contract.
The ecology and external landscaping of the property were a key part of the works, requiring constant engagement and liaison with the Environmental Agency to obtain approval and permits for the reinstatement of the river wall, assess next steps around a collapsed weir and manage water flow within the leat and provide a sustainable environment for the long term ecological aspirations for the river.
The project has been completed to shell and core ready for interior fit-out by the incoming tenant who will complete the transformation.
Bush Hall Hotel, Hatfield
£5m (shell and core)