Concerned residents are preparing to fight until the bitter end over plans to stop their community being destroyed by an influx of students.
Last month developers vowed to ‘rethink’ plans to house around 350 students on land at Tower Wharf off Raymond Street, after hundreds of objections from residents in the Garden Quarter.
But as Miller Developments submit their final application to the council with a few minor alterations, outraged campaigners have said they have been ‘ignored’ and are preparing to fight to save their vibrant community.
Today residents living close to the proposed apartments met with Vice Chancellor of the University of Chester Tim Wheeler to demand answers in an attempt to curtail the influx of student accommodation which they say has brought the community to ‘tipping point’.
“What are they playing at, they haven’t listened at all,” said Rachel Dison, campaigner for the Garden Quarter, who said the community were not against students but the shear numbers unbalancing their community.
“We all just have to keep on going. In terms of speaking to Miller Developments it has been pointless, told them at the meeting we did not want a further number of students living in the area. They haven’t listened to the concerns of residents at all.”
Rachel was joined by Cllr Bob Rudd at the meeting, where residents asked Mr Wheeler to support the community’s fight against the ‘student hub’, and demand answers about the future of the city.
In front of around 40 residents during a packed meeting at Garden lane Methodist Church last month, Andrew Sutherland, joint managing director of Miller Developments, repeatedly stated the university supported the plans, and required 2,000 beds but could cope with 1,500.
“It is not a need, it is a desire,” said Rachel.
“I want the university to confirm there is no actual need for this. If they do not help to stop this development they are turning their back on us.”
A spokesperson for Miller Developments said: “We greatly welcome the feedback received from the local community and have thoroughly reviewed the potential for alternative uses on the site. However, after much consideration we believe that the revised proposals represent the only viable option for the site.”
The application is due to go before CWaC strategic planning committee on January 24 at 4pm.