PLANNING COMMITTEE OFFICERS RECOMMEND PERMISSION GIVEN FOR 700-BED STUDENT ACCOMMODATION ON DERBY ROAD, LENTON
On Wednesday 17 March 2021 Nottingham City Council's Planning Committee is set to discuss a planning application by the Unite Group plc (20/00141/PFUL3) to demolish existing car showroom and garage buildings on Derby Road and redevelop the site as a 700-bed student purpose built complex. Planning officers are recommending that permission for this development should be given.
The Report of the Director of Planning and Regeneration on this application, which, amongst others, includes comments submitted by the Nottingham Action Group on HMOs opposing the proposals, can be downloaded here:
[Editor, Nottingham Action Group on HMOs, Sunday 14 March 2021]
Jamie Barlow, Digital News Correspondent of the Nottingham Post, writing on Tuesday 16 March 2021, reported ...
700-bed student complex set to be built on site of car showroom
Concern has been raised over the height of the development
The redevelopment of a Lenton car showroom site into a 700-bed student flats complex has been tipped for approval.
Until recently the site in Derby Road comprised of three car dealerships, occupied by Jaguar, Toyota and Lexus.
While Jaguar has relocated to new premises in Enterprise Way, Toyota and Lexus are in the process of moving into the space previously occupied by Jaguar, leaving their two dealerships vacant, a city council report states.
Under an ambitious redevelopment plan, the former Jaguar showroom and garage will be retained, allowing Lexus and Toyota to relocate to this part of the site while other existing buildings and structures are to be knocked down.
Two new buildings - three to six storeys in height - are to be built, creating 700 student beds and shared communal spaces.
The application is due to be discussed this week by the city council's planning committee - and officers have recommended approval, subject to a final decision being made.
Hilary Silvester, executive chair of the Nottingham Civic Society, said: "I think six storeys is too high in that particular spot because all around there is fairly low rise.
"I think it will be a shame to lose those two showrooms, I don't know what else you could use them for.
"I do like those glass car showrooms.
"I think possibly the height and also with all these student buildings is anybody researching the need?
"And as there's this need of freeing up the family houses to go back to family use, it would be interesting to know exactly how far that policy is progressing as well."
Kate Loewenthal, chair of the Lenton Drives and Neighbours Residents' Association, said "what Lenton does not need is any form of additional student accommodation".
"Residents feel as much as we need purpose-built accommodation in the city, it needs to be built in areas that are not hugely over-saturated with students," she said.
"Because part of the Nottingham city local plan is to support balanced communities, we need a lot of work done in the area to rebalance the community and attract families."
The 51-year-old teacher said she didn't think the development would "take the students out of the HMOs because the HMOs attract second and third years", and the project was "aimed at first years".
"If they are going to try and make it free-up family homes by providing purpose-built, they need to make it affordable and compete with a room in a shared house," she said.
She also said that students had contacted her to say they would like to be consulted over plans to do with the design and costs for new student developments.
According to a council report, there are 60 full-time members of staff registered as operating out of the site, 47 of whom will be retained with the relocation of Toyota and Lexus.
The remaining 13 - in the aftersales facility - are to be retained in Nottingham, and no job losses are planned as part of the redevelopment.
As well as the new student flats, a three-storey "commercial building" is proposed and intended to be used by the University of Nottingham.
A new public realm will also be created.
Up to 11 representations were made by local residents.
Points raised are that additional students would "add to the already significant concentrations of students in the area and further imbalance the Lenton community"
People also said antisocial behaviour may increase - and that the development would "further contribute to the perception of Lenton as a ‘student’ area".
Other neighbours were in support, saying they consider that "the majority of students are well behaved, courteous, not litter louts nor drunkards".
The application has been submitted by Rok Planning on behalf of Unite Group Plc.
Back in August 2019, student accommodation group Unite announced it had exchanged contracts to acquire the development site.
At the time, Nick Hayes, Unite group property director, said the acquisition reflected the company's "strategy of aligning our business with mid and high tariff universities in cities where there is strong demand for affordable, high-quality student accommodation".
It comes after a new 270-bedroom student accommodation building in Triumph Road was granted outline planning permission last month, subject to more detailed plans being submitted.
Separate proposals have also recently come to light for a student apartment scheme proposed for a car wash site in Ilkeston Road.