First look at historic Haigh Hall following hotel refurbishment

Artist's impression of the refubished Haigh Hall, showing the new car park and screen planting on what is currently an open grassed area
Artist's impression of the refubished Haigh Hall, showing the new car park and screen planting on what is currently an open grassed area

THIS image gives Wiganers their first glimpse of how Haigh Hall will look following its transformation into a boutique hotel and spa.

The artist’s impression shows one of the most controversial aspects of the plan, with the current grassed area between the Grade II-listed building and the plantations being converted into a car park with landscaping to screen it.

These proposals are considered acceptable, particularly as part of a major refurbishment programme ensuring Haigh Hall’s conservation and moving it off Historic England’s at-risk register

Richard Taylor

Other changes include building a third-floor ceremony room accessed by extending the existing staircase and restoring some of the original features, such as stone urns around the parapet.

Contessa Hotels, which had its proposal for Haigh Hall unanimously approved by Wigan Council’s planning committee last week, is also introducing a new driveway from Higher Lane.

The company is spending around £6m on the refurbishment of the former home of the Crawford family, with the hotel plans ensuring the roof is made weather-tight and other damage to the building is repaired.

The car park, which will also include a timber building used to store wedding cars, had caused some concern among residents, with the town hall receiving several objections asking for it to be made smaller or moved.

However, Wigan Council planning officer Richard Taylor told the committee: “For such a comprehensive renovation and refurbishment the changes are quite modest.

“These proposals are considered acceptable, particularly as part of a major refurbishment programme ensuring Haigh Hall’s conservation and moving it off Historic England’s at-risk register.”

Wigan Council hailed the planning approval, saying it will provide the multi-million pound investment Haigh Hall currently requires.

Deputy leader Coun David Molyneux said: “This is a really important step in securing the future of Haigh Hall. As part of the plans, the hall’s original features will be brought back to life and areas that are off limits will be brought back into use.

“This is a really exciting time for residents across the borough, many of whom will have fond memories of the hall, despite not being able to access much of the building.

“The restoration, together with improvements to the grounds, will mean residents will have more opportunity to enjoy Haigh Woodland Park.

“Our priority now is to finalise the plans to enable work to begin as soon as possible.”