Lucas Lee completes consultation on Yorkshire’s first five-star country house hotel

Lucas Lee, one of Yorkshire’s leading construction consultancy practices, has completed work on Yorkshire’s first five-star luxury country house hotel, Grantley Hall – almost three years to the day that construction started.

Following a multimillion-pound restoration and renovation project of the Grade II*-listed property, the venue was unveiled at the start of this month.

The scheme was overseen by Lucas Lee, who provided a bespoke procurement, project management, quantity surveying and contract administration strategy – shaving two years off what would have been a five-year project, had a traditional procurement route been undertaken.

As a Grade II*-listed property, it was necessary to retain and restore existing features, such as tiling, decorative plasterwork, architraves, skirting, timber panelling and sash windows. Lucas Lee worked closely with the client, project architect and the local authority conservation office to ensure the structural restoration of the hall was sympathetic to the original period features.

New interventions were also sensitively integrated within the existing fabric. The original windows were restored and double-glazed, while bespoke lighting and tablet-controlled underfloor heating were fitted. A new roof was also installed, and the stonework was cleaned, repointed and replaced where necessary.

Christopher Lee, founder and Managing Director of Lucas Lee said: “For a project of this size, things have gone relatively smoothly. Our first job was to model the entire estate and hall in Revit, a 3D modelling programme, from which we could establish an effective construction plan. We then brought together a design team who would be able to deliver the project in terms of architecture and engineering. It has been the largest engineering project in the North of England in the last five years – by quite some scale – and that is because we have had to minimise the impact of the new building on the old building.”

The prestigious and complex scheme didn’t come without its challenges. The restored building, which combines rich heritage and contemporary design, presented a range of complications from the onset.

Chris explained: “A third of the site is underground, so all of the back-of-house accommodation and facilities are sunk below ground level, which are connected to the old building via tunnel. But that was complicated. When we did the ground condition report, we found that the water chamber was very high, so the underground rooms were surrounded by water. We were effectively building under water.”

The scope of work was altered to accommodate any unexpected structural repairs, while the intrusive structural surveys allowed the teams to accumulate knowledge which would inform the restoration work, while conforming to planning requirements.

Commenting on why Lucas Lee was chosen, Richard Sykes, Managing Director at Grantley Hall said: “It’s a cliché, but Lucas Lee are big enough to cope, but small enough to care. From the top down, Lucas Lee has shown a real commitment to delivering the project in our required time-frame, while accommodating the design changes necessary to deliver a five-star product which stands out in the market.”

Lucas Lee also achieved carbon-neutral status for both buildings, by using Ground Source Heat Pumps. This was accomplished by investing more than £500,000, which the owners will recoup through the ongoing use of the system.

Chris finished: “The hall is akin to bespoke recreations of prestige cars being undertaken by the likes of Aston Martin and Jaguar – taking a classic E-Type and giving it modern brakes, safety belts and air conditioning. That is exactly what we have done at Grantley Hall, creating a building which is true to its original architecture but giving all the function and efficiency you would expect in a high-end city apartment.”