AN APPLICATION to turn a city hotel into student accommodation has heightened fears that Chester University’s purchase of County Hall could turn the surrounding area into a 'student ghetto'.
The proposal is to transform Hotel Roma, on Lower Bridge Street, into a 30 bed student property.
The developers will retain the current layout of the hotel and keep the current bedrooms on the three floors. The annex will also be retained and adaptedinto another bedroom.
The developers propose to use the existing bar area as a bar for both student residents and students from the university close by.
The current restaurant within the basement will be leased as a separate concern, not associated with student accommodation.
The architects state: “With the university development taking place within close proximity of the site, our client feels that this change will give the site a new lease of life whilst also bringing possible revenue for the surrounding established shops.”
Sandra Noakes, who lives on nerarby Greenwood Avenue, objected to the proposal. She told the council: “This could be the first step in changing the nature of a whole sector of the city. The problems of the Garden Lane area, where much of the present student housing is presently situated, are well documented.”
Phil Robson of Olave Street wrote : “Venues of this nature should be restricted to the University campus or non-residential areas.”
John Murray of Eastern Pathways also objected and said: “Having been assured that fears of the area surrounding County Hall would not become a "student ghetto" following the purchase of County Hall by the University of Chester were unfounded we have this application which is seeking to cash in on the move.”