Hopes that repair work could soon begin on White Swan hotel in Alnwick

Long-awaited repairs to an Alnwick hotel could finally proceed early in the new year.

Saturday, 5th October 2019, 8:00 am
Updated Monday, 7th October 2019, 3:16 pm
Scaffolding surrounding a balcomy at the White Swan Hotel in Alnwick. Picture by Jane Coltman

Scaffolding has cloaked a section of the White Swan on Bondgate Within for over a year because of damage to a balcony and archway.

Hotel owners, Classic Lodges, are now awaiting final clearance from the planning department at Northumberland County Council before repair works begin.

Richard Grime, managing director, explained: “I am pleased to report after a considerable period of time and hard work from ourselves we were granted planning permission to repair the balcony to the front of the White Swan Hotel, Alnwick.

“As part of the planning requirements we were required to produce and undertake a significant amount of pre-commencement works for the council. These have all now been submitted to the council for their further approval.

“Once we have received the relevant commencement permissions we will instruct the contractor who has been ready since February to begin the repair works. Regrettably as we have no permission or approvals yet we can’t instruct the stonemasons to begin the manufacture and carving of the stone.

“Once we receive the planning approval which we require, we will immediately instruct the masons to begin their work. The lead time is likely to be six to eight weeks, therefore if we receive the approvals by the end of October we envisage starting work in the new calendar year.”

A significant piece of the balcony became disconnected from the structure of the building last year. A safety review was carried out and it was established that the entire balcony structure was at risk and the area by the arch was unstable.

The building’s listed status also meant repairs could not be carried out quickly.

Mr Grime added: “We really appreciate the patience of the residents of Alnwick over the last 12 months and apologise for the inconvenience caused by the protective scaffolding.

“However we would like to stress we have work as quickly as we can to satisfy the council planning requirements covering a listed building.

“We hope to receive positive news from the council shortly to allow us to commence the repairs.”