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Chester Firmly Rejects 376-bed Student Scheme

Posted by Richard Ward in

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

Councillors in Chester have unanimously rejected plans for an eight storey 376-bed student accommodation block.

The scheme was deemed to be so large that two councillors suggested neighbours would be subject to perpetual darkness.

Despite officers recommending the scheme for approval, members of Cheshire West and Chester Council planning committee refused the scheme earmarked for a railway station car park in Hoole Way.

Planning officers had backed the scheme, partly because consent was previously granted for a large office block on the same site.

Ben Roberts, speaking for developers Jansons Property, argued the student accommodation represented a high-quality building located at an important gateway, which would help the University of Chester meet the demand for an extra 2,500 students.

However, residents suggested the proposals were not in the interests of the local community.

Commenting on the application, resident representative Lisa Miller, said: "This proposed development, with its disproportionate size, its overshadowing of front line properties, its inevitable noise, mess, impact on sleep and studentification of the area, would irrevocable affect our quality of life."

One of the largest concerns was the chaotic parking policy, as narrow streets were already full of cars belonging to commuters and students from the Northgate Point and Tramways student schemes.

Meanwhile, councillor Samantha Dixon concluded the development was an excellent example of 'pile it high and sell it cheap'.

The attending public applauded when all members voted against the plans because of its design, height, mass and scale.