Beechmoor Nurseries Whitchurch Road Christleton Chester Cheshire CH3 5QD – Demolition of existing buildings and redevelopment to provide an extra care retirement community comprising extra care accommodation (Use Class C2) together with associated communal facilities, access from Whitchurch Road, provision of vehicular and cycle parking, internal roads and footpaths, drainage infrastructure, open space and associated landscape works
The Chester Civic Trust have the following comments:
The site is an important gateway to the historic city of Chester and a high-quality scheme sensitive to the rural Green Belt location is essential.
The developers have made a good attempt to design an unusual and characterful set of buildings with appropriate materials and design motifs which will certainly produce striking development at a location which could be seen as an important and currently mediocre gateway site to Chester. The concept of a pedestrian ‘street’ to link the open spaces and the individual buildings is also welcomed.
Although we thought that the scheme is well thought out and sensitive to the constraints of the site, we are concerned particularly about the potential for noise pollution to residents from traffic and the height of the buildings.
The proposed height of the buildings will overshadow and squeeze the communal gardens and public square reducing a sense of openness and adversely affecting the well-being of residents. As this is a site in the Green Belt then it is important to retain a sense of openness as much as possible.
The overall quality of the scheme is being compromised by the number of apartments it is trying to fit on the site. A reduction in the number will allow buildings to be reduced in height, reduce overshadowing and overlooking, improve the amenity of the open spaces between the buildings and improve the overall quality.
The over-development of the site is also restricting the number of car parking spaces available for residents and visitors which is insufficient particularly when the frequent visits by care workers and volunteer drivers is taken into account many of which will require close and direct access to the apartments of residents with disabilities.
Relatives and friends of residents who wish to stay overnight will also struggle to find enough visitor spaces unless there is an agreement to allow visitors to use the adjacent park and ride facility.