News Article

Proposal advances for University of Chester laboratory and engineering facility

28 January 2021

Plans for a major laboratory and engineering development at the University of Chester, as part of plans for the establishment to expand its presence, look set to move forward next week. The scheme is geared towards improving skills both in the area and nationally.

The application site falls within the Parkgate Road Campus.

The surrounding area is already home to student accommodation, the SU, teaching and research facilities, administration offices and playing fields.

Lined up are two key components:

The Laboratory Building, which would sit adjacent to the NoWFOOD and Critchley Buildings and provide the main teaching and learning spaces for the Faculty of Science and Engineering, including the materials, terahertz, laser, physics and robotics labs, among others. Office space and lab rooms are also proposed across the three storeys.

The second is the Engineering Design Suite, which would accommodate three workshops, a computer laboratory and office space.

A design and access statement submitted to Cheshire West and Chester Council noted that a new 20-space car park would sit alongside the two.

The University confirmed that the sites chosen are the only ones currently available, having investigated a number of alternatives within its ownership and control, including The Riverside Campus and The Queen's Park Campus.

The design and access statement added that the "rigorous approach" taken to drawing up the plans has "produced a proposal which will enhance the standard of students' education, improve the skills of the local and national workforce and will provide a high quality and sustainable architectural intervention on the campus for generations of future students."

While concerns have been raised over the affect the development could have on parking in the area, the application has been recommended for approval by Cheshire West and Chester Council's planning committee.

A report drawn up ahead of the meeting, which will take place on 2 February, said: "The proposal will result in two sustainably built, energy efficient buildings that are of an acceptable design, harmonising with the surroundings and avoid an adverse visual amenity impact.

"It will enable the university to expand its offer within the existing Chester campus without detriment to neighbouring uses."

(via Insider Media)