Chester Uni lab plans blocked over parking fears
A project to create a pair of laboratory buildings at Parkgate Road Campus has been refused amid concerns that the development could unacceptably increase on-street parking in the area.
The University of Chester proposed a three-storey, 14,000 sq ft laboratory and a two-storey engineering design suite on parts of the Parkgate campus currently used for parking. But Cheshire West & Chester Council rejected the plans.
In seconding a motion to refuse the application, Cllr Peter Rooney said: “I don’t see how taking away 55 car parking spaces and putting a three-storey building on top is going to help anyone. It will just cause car parking chaos I’m afraid.”
Cheshire West’s planning committee members had agreed that upgrading the university’s science and engineering faculty was a positive move but that the loss of parking capacity would add to existing pressure on neighbouring streets.
Under the plans, the laboratory would have provided the main teaching and learning spaces of the university’s Faculty of Science and Engineering and featured 10 laboratories, including three for robotics.
The engineering design suite was proposed to house three workshops, a computer laboratory, and a design suite.
Willmott Dixon was lined up as the lead contractor for the scheme, Nexus Planning is the planning consultant and AHR is the architect.
Earlier this week, the University of Chester said its Warrington campus could relocate to Time Square, a £142m mixed-use scheme being delivered for Warrington Council by Muse Developments.
Under the plans, the university would move the campus from its current location on Crab Lane in the Fearnhead suburb, which was deemed unfit for purpose in a university-led review last year.