The University of Law has applied for planning and listed building consent for a 60-homes scheme on its Christleton campus to fund a relocation to Chester city centre .
It was recently announced the university (ULaw) would be moving to an undisclosed city centre site in September 2018.
ULaw, in partnership with Duchy Homes, intends to finance this move by redeveloping its existing rural base, set in 14 acres of grounds, into a ‘quality’ residential scheme.
The western half of the site – comprising a playing field and woodland – would be relatively untouched while the proposed development on the eastern side would include those areas currently occupied by existing buildings and hard standing as well as a screening bund next to the car park.
It would be necessary for the applicants to prove their scheme should be regarded as an exemption to green belt policy which applies to the entire campus.
ULaw wants to erect 46 new build houses (2-5 bed) and create 14 apartments by converting the grade II-listed Christleton Hall. A total of 30% of the housing (18 units) would be classed as ‘affordable’. The project would involve the demolition of some late 20th century buildings.
A document supporting the planning application states: “These proposals highlight a rare opportunity for the sustainable redevelopment of a brownfield site for high quality residential development, set within a historic context and attractive landscaped setting.”
Among the claimed benefits are:
■ Quality residential development on previously developed land at sustainable location
■ Enhancement of fabric and setting of listed Christleton Hall
■ Secures more spending power in local area
■ Facilitates investment so University of Law can relocate to city centre
■ Meets local housing needs
■ Creation of jobs during construction phase
ULaw is not divulging its new city centre location.
There were rumours it wanted to move into the new One City Place building, by Chester Railway Station , after change-of-use planning consent was granted to convert two storeys into a non-residential educational facility.
But The Chronicle understands those floors are now ‘under offer’ by another company.
A recent statement revealed students currently enrolled at ULaw in Chester and staff members will move to the new city centre location in September 2018.
Professor Andrea Nollent, vice chancellor and CEO at The University of Law, said: “For both our students and the law firms with whom we have close partnerships, our new location will bring them closer together in the city centre as part of Chester’s vibrant business community.
“Not only will this enhance our current offering but it will also create new opportunities, from which our students, staff and employers can benefit.”
The university operates from eight UK centres.