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Plans lodged for 321-bed Chester student complex

Scheme would involve redevelopment of existing city centre bus depot site

Watkin Jones' 321-bed student scheme viewed from Liverpool Road.

Developers have lodged a planning application for a 321-bed student accommodation scheme in place of a Chester bus depot.

Liverpool Road Chester Limited, a subsidiary of Watkin Jones, is behind the plan which is targeting the Stagecoach depot in Liverpool Road.

Watkin Jones recently held a public consultation on the scheme which has been slightly reduced in scale from 351 to 321 units.

A document accompanying the plan states: “The proposal presented in this document is for a development on the site which is currently used by the Stagecoach depot and which bridges Liverpool Road and Victoria Road to the north of Chester city centre .

Watkin Jones' 321-bed student scheme viewed from Victoria Road.

"The Watkin Jones Group propose to redevelop the site for purpose-built student accommodation in the form of both studio and cluster spaces (circa 322 units) including associated facilities such as reception area, common room, cycle store, refuse store and plant room.

“We envision a new high quality development with improved public realm. The scheme has been developed through several pre-app meetings, a design review panel presentation and a public consultation, all of which have informed the submitted design.”

Stagecoach previously revealed there was a conditional agreement over the sale of its Liverpool Road depot with negotiations ongoing to secure an alternative depot site in Chester.

And the bus company has since lodged planning applications with both Flintshire County Council and Cheshire West and Chester Council for a replacement facility on part of Chester FC’s car park, in Sovereign Way, which lies close to the England-Wales border.

Watkin Jones' 321-bed student scheme viewed from Northgate Avenue.

There would be a bus maintenance workshop, bus chassis wash and bus wash plus associated parking and infrastructure.

Watkin Jones’ proposed 321-bed Liverpool Road complex would be managed by their Fresh Student Living arm which runs the next door 128-bed site in Victoria Road and the company’s 400-bed Tramways development near the railway station.

Other student accommodation in the area includes a 117-bed student scheme opened on the opposite side of the road to the bus depot, next to Northgate Church, last autumn.

A 121-bed student accommodation complex in Trafford Street, Newtown , is now open for business. The same developers, Primus Property Group and Property Alliance Group, are currently building a 150-bed scheme just a stone’s throw away after gaining permission on appeal.

Watkin Jones' 321-bed student scheme viewed from Liverpool Road, with the George and Dragon in the foreground.

Jansons Property was turned down over a proposed five-storey 376-bed development on the site of the railway station car park next to Hoole bridge but also looks likely to appeal.

Last October Watkin Jones’ plans for a 77-bed six-storey student block in Hunter Street, described as ‘monstrous’, were given planning permission on appeal.

And three blocks for 350 students are almost ready next to Telford’s Warehouse in the Garden Quarter , which were again given the go-ahead on appeal.

There’s still no news on when construction will begin on the massive 544-bed student complex on Linenhall car park but it is expected to commence soon.

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