PLANS to demolish The Red House in Chester and replace it with seven apartments have been refused.

A full planning application lodged by Lancashire-based Sterling Property Co. Ltd proposed a total of two four-bedroom, four three-bedroom and one two-bedroom apartments, along with underground parking and landscaped grounds.

However, Cheshire West and Chester Council has rejected the scheme, stating "the loss of an existing community facility" would result in "an adverse impact on the quality of life, health and well-being of residents and visitors".

The Red House, located on Dee Banks, Great Boughton, has overlooked the River Dee since the 1850s, and currently houses Italian restaurant Et Alia.

The news comes after we reported earlier today that a campaign to preserve the future of the iconic venue had seen its application approved for the building to be listed as an asset of community value.

In a report recommending refusal, council case officer Lyndsay Shinner said 53 written representations were received objecting to the proposal on various grounds.

They included the loss of the community facility seen as an asset to Chester, loss of employment, detrimental impact on the Dee Banks Conservation Area, and concern about proximity to the river and flooding.

Concluding her report, Mrs Shinner said: "The loss of the community facility has not been demonstrated to be acceptable by the marketing exercise that has been undertaken.

"No alternative facilities have been proposed or provided to compensate for the loss of the community facility. This is afforded substantial weight against the proposal.

"No public benefit can be demonstrated to overcome the harm identified to the heritage asset, the Dee Banks Conservation Area, from the excessive height, scale and massing of the proposal and as such would fail to preserve or enhance the character and appearance of the Dee Banks Conservation Area.

"The proposal would also appear incongruous and overly strident in the street scene and would therefore not be sympathetic to the characteristics of the development site, its relationship with its surroundings and wider views into and toward the site. The afforded significant weight against the proposal.

"Insufficient information has been provided and therefore the required Habitat Regulations Assessment has not been able to be undertaken to determine any potential adverse impact on the River Dee SSSI and Reiver Dee and Bala Lake SAC.

"The Flood Risk Assessment does not adequately assess the flood risk posed by the development and therefore it has not been demonstrated that the flood risk has been mitigated. These matters also weigh against the proposal and are afforded moderate weight.

"Issues relating to highway safety and archaeology can be overcome by condition. All other matters have a neutral impact.

"It is considered the matters that weigh against the proposal substantially outweigh any benefits of the proposal and as such it is recommended for refusal."