Swinfen Hall Hotel
Swinfen Hall Hotel

AN enforcement notice served on the owners of an historic hotel in Lichfield has revealed details of potential breaches of the rules relating to listed buildings.

Lichfield District Council said last week that it had taken action to prevent further work taking place at Swinfen Hall Hotel.

The Grade II listed building was built in 1755, but closed as a hotel earlier this year.

But planning officials were tipped off about unauthorised work taking place at the site – and warned those behind it could now face a prison sentence.

The owners have also been ordered to return the hotel to its former state.

A listed building enforcement notice from the council has outlined the full detail of the work carried out without permission under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990:

The installation of a chandelier through the Rococo ceiling in Room 1, including the damage to and removal of elements of the central ceiling rose.
The removal of brass door handles throughout the ground floor and the replacement with modern composite handles.
The removal of timber sash windows to either side of the front entrance door and their replacement with uPVC double-glazed windows.
The painting of the fireplace in Room 2, losing the historically varnished finish.
The creation of a new kitchen in Room 3, with units covering panelling to the walls, and the painting of the wooden panelling, resulting in the loss of the historically varnished finish.
The removal of the door and doorframe to the north-eastern side of Room 3 including the high skirting and plaster mouldings otherwise evident throughout Room 3, and the creation of a new large opening between these Rooms, and the installation of additional lower skirting boards and associated plaster mouldings within the opening.
The removal of three French windows to Room 4 and their replacement with modern uPVC doors.
The painting of all wooden panelling to Room 6 and the loss of the historically varnished finish.
The painting of the two organ surrounds to Room 6 and the loss of the original French polished finish.
The painting of the balustrading, handrails and wooden detailing to the main central stair, losing the historically varnished finish.
The removal of the timber French window to Room 10 and its replacement with a modern
uPVC French window.
The installation of a spa bath, together with the application of concrete to the floor in Room 31.
The installation of fitted wardrobes to Room 33.
The blocking-up of the doorway between Room 33 and Room 34.
The removal of a wall between Room 34 and Room 35.
The installation of a fitted and fixed bed headboard to the wall in Room 35.
The removal of the central timber sash window and the cutting through of brick-work and stone cill to the window of Room 35 and the installation of a uPVC door.
Details from Lichfield District Council’s listed building enforcement notice for Swinfen Hall Hotel

The work to reinstate the original condition of the listed building must be completed by 19th January 2025.

The council had previously issued a planning enforcement notice over works outside the hotel.

These include the creation of “unauthorised earth bunds”, the addition of an outdoor swimming pool, the installation of new entrance pillars and gates, and the use of a flat roof above the former hotel cocktail lounge as an external balcony area.

The notice was served back in May, with the site’s owner having until 17th July to complete works to remove the new additions.

A spokesperson for Lichfield District Council said:

“Owning a listed building comes with the responsibility of conserving, maintaining and protecting it for the benefit of the public and future generations.  

“This work has been done with complete disregard to that responsibility and the law, and those behind the work could now face imprisonment.  

“Lichfield District is rich in history, often portrayed through our wonderful buildings and the council will be robust in protecting them.”

Lichfield District Council spokesperson

Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

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Dr T
10 days ago

Nothing serious, then!

Steven Norman
10 days ago

This is vandalism by someone with money but no other attributes. It is painful to read the list of wanton destruction – and theft – but look forward to finding out what sort of person is responsible. Keep us informed LL.

Patrick young
10 days ago

This is an example of how ridiculous the planning system has become. I’m not a Labour voter but I really wish Rachel Reeves luck in sweeping away the busybodies, nimby’s and assorted dogs in the mangers who have proliferated through the planning system like bindweed…

10 days ago

During the Covid lockdown the previous owners pledged to honour any outstanding bookings. The new consortium just ignored such agreement in the rush to turn it into a posh wedding venue.
Shame on them and for the ðamage they have caused to an iconic building. I hope they are made to restore it to its former state and are punished for willfully flaunting planning laws.

Billy Breedlove
10 days ago

Absolute vandalism. Philistines.

Curborough Rd Resident
9 days ago

How awful that these people destroy our heritage and fine buildings when they run roughshod over everything including our planning laws for monetary gain. Well done to the whistleblower who reported it, they deserve a medal for their diligence. Too often these days it happens…look at the Crooked House at Himley. We must keep an eye on our buildings.

Pam E
9 days ago

Patrick young – this has absolutely nothing to do with nimbies or new labour’s planning laws – this is to do with obeying the law in respect of owning and working on listed buildings – whoever did this knew perfectly well that they were vandalising a beautiful and historic house – and should be made to put it right!! But I assume they will just claim they can’t afford to. I hope that Lichfield Council pursues this to the end

Dun Voting
6 days ago

Oops. !!!