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Virtual reality experience centre could be heading for Chester

Intriguing application submitted to convert unit on Northgate Street

A planning application has gone in to bring a virtual reality experience to Chester(Image: Simon Greener)

A virtual reality experience centre could be destined for Chester – but whether it actually becomes a reality lies in the hands of planners.

An application for the intriguing attraction to take over an empty unit in the Royal House Building on Northgate Street has been submitted to Cheshire West and Chester Council .

If it gets the green light, gamers will be transported to a compelling virtual environment thanks to state-of-the-art technology like optics and head tracking systems.

A total of five virtual reality pods which can be used individually or in combination to create a group experience are proposed and would give paying customers the opportunity to step into another ‘reality’.

The Royal House building on Northgate Street

Documents lodged by Goodwin Planning Services list the developer behind the bid – which seeks approval to convert the existing shop set-up for leisure use – as Duddon-based Equestrian Escapes.

The ‘application correspondence’ states that its primary purpose is ‘selling time on virtual reality games’, and that the property was last used as a chemists.

It says: “The proposal is to change the use of the unit to a virtual reality experience centre.

“Virtual reality is the act of using a combination of computing power and optics to stimulate a visual and auditory experience that seeks to fool the user into believing they are somewhere else.

“It is accomplished by a combination of optics, headphones and head tracking so you can look around the virtual environment and move within it some way.

“The business itself intends to market itself as a premises where individuals can come in and pay for time on the virtual reality machines but also to corporate groups for team-building exercises such as escape room programs.”

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