Following closure in 2009, Grade II Listed Bush Hall Hotel, Hatfield, had fallen into disrepair. During 2018, Gascoyne Cecil Estates undertook essential maintenance and repair to the property to mitigate further damage to the building whilst proposals for the future refurbishment of the property were established.
HUSH, working alongside our client, Gascoyne, the pre-let tenant Oakman Inns and their scheme Architect Gollifer Langston, identified and engaged 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 and the strip out and enabling works were completed in April 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic put into question the viability of a hotel and wedding venue at this time, which halted the works until the following year when it was tendered in July 2021.
The development involved extensive restoration to bring it back into use as a hotel, restaurant and function venue with associated landscaping. This brought the property back to life as an important feature and landmark in the local community. The refurbishment reduced the overall hotel room provision from 25 down to 14 as larger boutique rooms and suites, 3 staff bedrooms and 5 accessible riverside suites in the remodelled Stable Block – each with their own private riverside terrace. This required specific permits, liaising with local authorities due to the close proximity of the river’s boundary, and engagement with the local water authority regarding the reinstatement of the river tributary.
Work also involved replacement and refurbishment of areas of lath and plaster ceilings carried out by specialist contractor and the installation of a damp proofing system and fire boards to provide fire separation between various areas of the hotel. During course of the works, further extensive dry rot and structural defects were discovered and the second-floor roof and floor joisting had to be extensively replaced.
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 any original features, fireplaces and wooden panelling were retained to preserve its own 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 gathering or meetings as required.
Redundant outbuildings and poor-quality 20th Century additions were demolished to facilitate the proposals. The scheme also included the construction of a new separate modern Function Room with multi-faceted zinc clad roof.
The ecology and external landscaping of the property were a key part of the works. The car park was fully replaced, and EV charging units were installed as well as designated disabled parking and associated areas.
The works were procured in two phases; an enabling works package including site clearance, internal strip out and investigations and demolition of outbuildings. This enabled the detailed design to be developed and validated ahead of procuring the main works to shell and core. The project was then handed over to Oakman Inns to enable them to undertake their interior fit out and landscaping.
Bush Hall Hotel, Hatfield
£5m (shell and core)