PLANNING COMMITTEE APPROVE 703-BED STUDENT ACCOMMODATION NEAR LIDL ON WOLLATON ROAD
New 703-bed student accommodation block to be built on the edge of Lenton
A new footbridge is also going to be built
An enormous new student housing scheme will be built in Lenton, after plans were approved this week.
Next to the River Leen, it will be one of the largest new student blocks in recent years.
The council hopes the increase in the amount of purpose-built accommodation will free up family housing.
The growth of the two universities has outpaced the increase in the amount of student accommodation in recent years, leaving some students having to stay in Derby, while others have been placed in temporary accommodation.
But concerns have been raised about the effect that such a high concentration of students is having on areas like Lenton.
Some councillors also fear that increasing the amount of purpose-built student accommodation will only increase the amount of students the universities take, and will have no effect on family accommodation.
As part of the development, a new footbridge will be built to connect the accommodation to the University of Nottingham’s Jubilee Campus.
The 703-bed block in Deakins Place, near the Lidl on Wollaton Road, will feature a cinema room, 217 bicycle spaces, and just six car parking spaces.
Extensive flood alleviation work will also be funded by the developers as part of the deal, with remedial work carried out to the River Leen, which runs parallel to the seven and six-storey building.
The application was unanimously approved by the city council’s planning committee on Wednesday, December 18.
Councillor Sally Longford represents Lenton and Wollaton East for Labour, and said: “I’m very pleased to see that the flood risk issue is being taken very seriously. Because obviously it’s very important and to see that there’s a plan for the naturalistion of what is a very heavily engineered channel at the moment.”
Councillor Graham Chapman represents Aspley for Labour, and spoke generally about the situation with student housing in the city.
He said: “Up until a couple of years ago, we were managing to get on top of the student build, and our main aim was to try to deflate the market so that they weren’t taking up domestic properties and residential properties.
There was some sign that was working outside the Lenton area.
“We’ve since been hit by additional wave of students coming to the city.
“In a sense that’s a good thing, because we’ve got two very succesful universities.
“They also bring spend with them, they spend money in shops when retailers are under pressure, and they bring families to visit now and again, and they will spend money.
“But what’s happened is we’re beginning to lose pace with the additional demand.
“What we need to be looking at now is how we cope with that additional demand, if it continues.
“Even the existing demand will need coping with, because first years become second years become third year, and second years they move out into some grotty student private let with their mates, and then by third year they realise that their mates don’t do the washing up, or wash their smalls or whatever, and they want to go back.
There is a sort of syndrome. We actually need to granulate what we’re doing so we can appeal not just accommodating the first years but the second years as well.
“We also need to be working even more closely with the universities.
“Now the universities are becoming a bit more accommodating than they were, but we need to be talking to them about what the demand is going to be in the future.
“The only way we are going to be able to satisfy that demand without the private rented housing market exploding, is with more purpose built, but we need the right purpose built so we need to be appealing to second years.
“We also need to be getting as much of this stuff in the city centre as possible. We need to be looking at the south side, with tram links to the university.”
[Kit Sanderman, Local Democracy Reporter, Nottingahm Post, saturday 21 December 2019]