PLANS have been lodged for a 126-bed student accommodation complex close to the Fountains Roundabout in Chester.

William Fishwick and Son Ltd has applied for planning permission to demolish existing buildings and erect a two-block scheme next to Northgate Church in Upper Northgate Street.

The proposal has been brought forward sooner than originally anticipated because a rival 2,500-bed student village proposal has been resubmitted on green belt land at Mollington.

Backers behind this project argue their site has the advantage of being a ‘highly sustainable’ location on a brownfield location close to the University of Chester campus.

The site is largely vacant, with only Vernon House still in use as a uPVC windows showroom on the ground floor with flats above. All tenancies are coming to an end in the ‘next couple of months’.

Simon Edwards, of William Fishwick and Son Ltd, said: “Our site has had planning consent for redevelopment for many years, this new scheme is appropriate due to the site’s proximity to both the university campus and the city centre. As a Chester-based company it is very important to us that the new building will be of high quality and the development will undoubtedly be an improvement to the street scene.”

Architect Philip McCormick of Saighton-based McCormick Architecture commented that the site is mainly empty and existing buildings are of ‘poor quality and now a bit of an eyesore’.

He said the development will ‘positively contribute to the street scene and enhance the setting of the adjacent Northgate Church’.