Plans have been lodged that envisage 550 students living in a £30m city centre accommodation complex on the racecourse’s former stables site.
Chester Race Company and London-based developers The Stephenson Group are partners in the project at the Linenhall car park site.
Rising to six storeys on the ring road side – opposite the eight storey Crowne Plaza Hotel – the building includes a mix of 103 studio flats and 61 shared living apartments.
Proposals feature an office for on-site management and an undercroft car park for about 100 vehicles plus secure cycle parking. Plans for a central pavilion have been removed to open up the central courtyard and improve the view from St Martin’s Way.
The race company is hoping the University of Chester may be prepared to take on the lease or sign-post students to the accommodation if the development gets planning consent.
Promoters believe the central location makes it a more attractive setting for students than the competing 2,300-bed student village scheme proposed on green belt between Blacon and Mollington.
Chester Racecourse chief executive, Richard Thomas, said: “The location is ideally suited to students who can access both university campuses and all city centre services on foot. In that sense, this is a very sustainable proposal in which there is not the usual reliance on the car.”
A spokesman for Friends of North Chester Greenbelt, who oppose the rival student village application, commented: “Whilst welcoming the scheme, the Friends do have some concerns that it may be ‘one layer’ too high but in general we like the design, are happy that it is on a brown field site and feel that its design fits in well with the architecture of the area.”