New lease of life for hotel in Cross Lanes as thrills and spills base


Jonathan Grieve

A former hotel is to be turned into a children’s activity centre with a lake and archery facilities.

A planning application to change the use of the former Cross Lanes Country Hotel in Bangor Road, Cross Lanes has been approved.

The application asked for permission to change the use of the building to a children’s activity centre to include an extension to the existing hotel, new buildings and equipment for children’s activities with associated car parking, coach parking, landscaping and railings.

It was given the green light by officers after planning committee members approved giving delegated powers over the decision.

Activities proposed include archery, caving, zip wires, giant swing and high rope courses.

In response to the plans, Sesswick Community Council has said its members hope the project can address the lack of a community hub following the losses of the hotel and the Kiln Inn.

A total of 37 neighbours were notified, one of whom responded to say they felt the conversion of the hotel into an outdoor pursuits centre would be an excellent plan.

A design and access statement submitted as part of the planning process by architect Richard Storah stated the centre would typically be used by seven to 11-year-olds and would include a lake for canoeing and raft building.

He said: “The proposals have been developed during detailed pre-application discussions with planning officers, the arboricultural officer and the ecologist of Wrexham CBC. As a result significant changes have been made to address the council’s concerns.

“A high proportion of activities take place indoors. External activities will generally take place in the daytime and have been sited away from site boundaries adjacent to residential properties to reduce any noise impacts.

“Changes to the operation of the centre will free up opportunities for local groups to use the facilities on occasions. 

“The new proposal provides more than 50 jobs, with excellent training and development opportunities within a thriving company, which was rated in the top 20 mid-size companies to work for in the Sunday Times list.”

In July last year, the Leader reported Michael Kagan, then-owner of the hotel, planned to retire and close the hotel after 29 years.

Built as a house in the late Victorian era, it was converted to a hotel in 1959. 

Mr Kagan bought the property in 1987 after a career in hotel management in London, Liverpool and Chester.

Speaking at the time, he said: “The Cross Lanes was in need of a new direction when we took it over. 

“Over the years, it continued to thrive as a first class hotel, restaurant and function venue.

“It became especially popular for weddings and family celebrations.”

He added: “Now is the right time for me to retire and my priority is to look after my long-serving and dedicated staff.

“I would like to thank all our staff and the many people who have worked for us over the years and contributed to providing a first class facility.”

See full story in the Leader

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