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Newtown could soon have more than 1,000 student residents

Student housing developers are targeting the residential area

A computer generated image of the proposed 150-bed student scheme with Northgate Arena to the right.

Two new student housing schemes could bring around 530 extra beds to Newtown bringing the total to more than 1,000.

Jansons Property is consulting over a proposed five-storey 377-bed development on the site of the railway station car park next to Hoole bridge.

But some Newtown residents are already upset by the 121-bed Northgate Point scheme in Trafford Street which has just opened to students for the start of the autumn term.

Now the same developers, Primus Property Group and Property Alliance Group, have submitted plans for a 150-bed scheme just a stone’s throw from their first complex which would involve demolishing Oakbase House in Trafford Street.

There are plans to abolish Oakbase house and create a 150-bed student scheme in Trafford Street.

This is in addition to Tramways student housing by the railway station, run by Fresh Student Living, with 387 en suite rooms and 11 self-contained studios and before the Chester Fire Station site is potentially redeveloped to incorporate student housing.

Current numbers alone would bring 1,046 student beds to Newtown in just a few short years. The accommodation will serve the University of Chester and potentially the University of Law, which is rumoured to be moving into the City Place building by the railway station.

Concerns are already being aired.

A common theme is a worry about a lack of car parking in the schemes justified by the proximity to the railway station.

Despite appearances the 121-bed Northgate Point complex is now open to students.

People living in the Abbots Wood retirement flats in Northgate Avenue have raised a petition against the latest Trafford Street student complex for 150 beds. Mr MA Dunn of Ellison Court, Trafford Street, is so fed up with disruption caused by the developer’s initial student scheme, he doesn’t want any more.

He wrote in objection to the planning authority: “I would like to complain about the above application. We at Ellison Court have been through 15 months of hell, noise, bad language, the street being used as part of the current building site of the old bakery.”

Developer Jansons Property says its plans for 377 self-contained flats involves ‘a single, attractive modern building, with apartments designed to appeal to students’ attending the University of Chester.

A resident, who lives on the Black Diamond Park estate, but wished to remain anonymous, did not have a problem with students living nearby. But he commented: “Live and let live. We’ve all been students. The only concern I’ve got is the car parking.”

The car park by Hoole bridge where developers want to build a five-storey 377-bed student accommodation block.

And the resident won’t be happy if the complex is five storeys high as planned.

He added: “There’s not a great view but I don’t want another monstrosity blocking out the potential light falling onto the street.“

Jansons say the scheme will bring economic benefits to the city, sustaining jobs in construction and supporting local shops and services by boosting spending in the local economy.

Spokesman Ben Roberts said: “Our plan is to deliver an attractive building that complements the local area and helps Chester attract the best and brightest students in a competitive higher education market.

“The site is ideally located for this sort of development, being within a 15 minute walk of the main university site and just a short walk from local businesses, the railway station and the city centre. We feel that this is very positive news for Chester and a sign of growing investor confidence in the city.”

A drop-in session has been laid on at Northgate Church, between 3-7pm, today (Thursday, September 22), together with a community information telephone line: 0844 556 3002. Comments about the latest student accommodation proposals can also be emailed to: hoolewaychester@lexcomm.co.uk

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