Real housewife plans to turn home into luxury spa hotel

A reality TV star and ex-footballer are planning to create a a luxury spa retreat at their Great Warford home which they have been struggling to sell for over five years.

Dawn Ward, star of The Real Housewives of Cheshire, and her husband Ashley Ward have applied to change the use of Warford Hall, which lies within the Green Belt, from a private residence with ancillary offices to a spa hotel along with a swimming pool.

The proposal includes refurbishing the hall and adding a two storey extension to provide a total of 16 bedrooms. A new spa facility will form part of the new extension works which is similar in scale to the extension previously granted, permission for which has now lapsed.

A total of 30 guests will be able to stay overnight and a limited number of pre‐booked day spa guests will also be accommodated. The existing provision of 68 car parking spaces will remain.

There are currently 15 people employed at the business and the proposed development will increase the number of employees to 30.

The Wards, who bought the hall 13 years ago, ran their property construction business 'Bilton Ward Developments' from there until it was hit by the recession. Before the recession the main business employed 30 people at Warford Hall. Now the focus is on interior design and employs 15 people. As a result of fewer people being employed, the buildings are no longer fully occupied.

According to the planning application, Warford Hall, which dates from 1867, is very expensive to maintain and run with the utility services costing over £100,000 per year and 3 people employed permanently to maintain the outside of the property and the 5 acres of garden.

The application states "The applicants wish therefore to establish a business that would help the Hall become sustainable and build upon the qualities of the property and its setting."

In April 2017 Dawn and Ashley Ward lost their appeal against Cheshire East Council's refusal to grant them planning permission to create a conference and wedding venue at their Great Warford home, with facilities for up to 130 people.

Great Warford, Little Warford and Nether Alderley parish councils all objected to the application along with over 200 local residents who complained that "Party Warford" was inappropriate in a quiet, rural village and would result in noise disturbance and increased levels of traffic on the narrow country lanes.

The latest proposal for a spa retreat is described as offering "a quiet and peaceful solution".

The plans can be viewed on the Cheshire East planning portal by searching for planning reference 19/2003M. The latest date for submitting comment is 13th June and a decision is expected by 6th August.

Photo: Warford Hall and an artists impression of the new spa retreat.

Planning Applications, Warford Hall


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Adrian Scott
Tuesday 21st May 2019 at 5:06 pm
Here we go again !! Boring !!!
Bob Bracegirdle
Tuesday 21st May 2019 at 6:03 pm
Seems a shame to spoil a traditional Hall.
Fraser Pemberton
Tuesday 21st May 2019 at 6:41 pm
As she can’t afford to live there or run it maybe she should sell it ... oh ... it’s been on the market for 6 years.... at £13 million..... only 10 million over priced.... you may have convinced the bank that’s what it’s worth love but nobody else.....
Harry Martin
Tuesday 21st May 2019 at 7:51 pm
If it costs a fortune to upkeep then why make negative comments unless it is the usual hint of jealousy. There are several venues where spas are situated that are shabby and need attention. That is why they are on Groupon as deals . Good luck if this is turned into a spa with new facilities.
Graham Nicholson
Tuesday 21st May 2019 at 10:32 pm
Utility bills of £100,000 a year?! Could be time to turn the thermostat down a notch or two!
Tony Haluradivth
Wednesday 22nd May 2019 at 6:16 am
Harry Martin no one is jealous, this couple have already applied for a voluntary CVA in 2009 with huge debts. Not supposition it is all in the public domain. As someone pointed out their house has languished on the market for years because it is overpriced. "Cut your cloth avvording to it's measure" as my canny Northern Mum would say. This couple are not the Beckhams so why try and live like them they are not hugely popular in Great Warford and this sounds like another harebrained scheme like the wedding business . If you think their Wag lifestyle is something to be aspired to and emulated, good luck. But I have lived too many years on this earth to know that biting off more than you can chew to impress others and running up huge debts is no way to live. And Mrs Ward is no role model for easily impressed youngsters I have seen one or two of the ghastly Housewife programmes and the swearing and language is truly awful . I am not making this up and am merely stating facts.
Pete Taylor
Wednesday 22nd May 2019 at 1:36 pm
Will the Spar shop have a post-office counter? Sounds like a great idea, just what real housewives need.