The University of Chester has stated “unequivocally” that it has no plans for student accommodation at a former bank site overlooking the River Dee.
Speculation has been rife that the university is buying the Queen’s Park Road location from Lloyds Banking Group after Redrow Homes revealed they were no longer interested in developing the plot for housing.
A university spokesperson said: “The university wishes to state unequivocally that it has no plans for student accommodation in Handbridge and that any rumours to that effect, from whatever source, are pure speculation.
“Should the university consider expanding its property portfolio, such proposals would be subject to the commercial sensitivity afforded to any other business and, where appropriate, to the statutory consultation associated with the planning process.”
Reg Barritt, general secretary of Handbridge Residents Council, said “a reliable source” from within the council told him the university had struck a deal with Lloyds worth £6-7m and he feared for his neighbourhood.
Earlier this year, plans for 33 dwellings by Redrow and Lloyds were rejected at the planning committee on design grounds but Redrow had been expected to come back with a revised scheme.
However, this week a Redrow spokeswoman said: “I can confirm that Redrow no longer has any interests in this site. We are unaware of any future plans for its redevelopment.”
Lloyds Banking Group said the building had not been sold and any potential offers would be subject to confidentiality agreements.