The canalside in Chester is being transformed as a controversial student housing scheme begins to emerge next to one of the city’s favourite watering holes.
Planning consent was last year granted on appeal for three blocks housing a 350-bed student complex at Tower Wharf next to Telford’s Warehouse, despite vociferous opposition.
In a separate scheme next door to Telford’s, permission was later given for a conversion project to turn former Church of England offices, Diocesan House and Raymond House, into 18-bed student building.
Common fears centre around anti-social behaviour including the build-up of rubbish, inconsiderate parking and noise from revellers, plus the undermining of a vibrant community with a strong arts scene. Some worry the character of pub and music venue Telford’s is bound to change with 370 students on its doorstep.
Speaking after an inspector gave the go-ahead for the 350-bed accommodation on appeal, Cllr Rudd said: “There are people who are extremely upset over what is happening to their community. I am doing my best to placate them and keep spirits up but I can’t see a way forward at the moment.
“We are going to have live with the decision the planners have made, even if they live 200 miles away.”
A nearby student scheme is also shooting up in Upper Northgate Street, next to the Fountains roundabout, by Chester-based student accommodation specialists Cityheart Ltd for 117 occupants, which aims to be ready by September 2016.
And rapid progress is being made to build a 121-bed student housing complex next to Chester Fire Station in Newtown that will rise to six storeys.
Manchester-based Property Alliance Group (PAG) gained consent last summer to demolish a derelict bakery in Trafford Street then erect a two-block studio apartment scheme in its place, ready for an autumn 2016 opening.
The building is controversial because of fears it will overshadow existing properties and that students may bring cars to the neighbourhood where on-street parking is already in short supply.
Construction work has been delayed on the 550-bed student complex earmarked for the Linenhall car park.