AN 18th CENTURY mansion in North Shropshire has received the rubber stamp to become a wedding venue and boutique hotel.

Planning permission was received last year to restore and covert the Grade One listed Hawkstone Hall in Marchamley, near Prees.

But an application for listed building consent was only submitted in May. Conservation officer Ruth Hitchen welcomed the works which she said will include removal of some “unsympathetic” alternations made in the 20th Century and revisions to the 1960s wing.

She added: “The reuse of the site as a boutique hotel is welcomed as it has allowed the building to be used as one entity rather than a use which would mean that it was divided up into may ownerships.

“The proposal has been the subject of pre-application discussions with the LPA (local planning authority) and Historic England. At this stage it was clear that a detailed heritage assessment which fulfilled the requirements of National and Local Policies would be an integral part to the decision process.

“There have been many alterations since the building was first constructed amounting to six alterations and adaptations over the course of its history so far.

“It was considered very important for all parties to full understand the building and the significance of the alterations so that this could inform a sensitive scheme going forward.”

The application from Nice Leisure included the creation of 40 bedrooms and a new car park.

The mansion was purchased in last summer for £3 million having previously been used by Catholic missionaries.

In the past it has welcomed the Duke of Wellington.

It is hoped the hall will reopen as a wedding venue and hotel later this year with further works to bedrooms being completed by May 2019.